A tree frame keeps young pine trees safe from pests like deer and rabbits who feed on the tree during the winter months when food is scarce. Tree frames are readily available at many gardening centers or nurseries, but these simple devices are so easy to make at home, you can avoid the expense. With a length of chicken wire and a sturdy pair of wire cutters, you can make a sturdy tree frame that will keep your pine tree safe and secure.
Use a string to create a circle around the base of your tree that encompasses its planting area (an inch or so beyond its roots). Measure the length of that string. Multiply that number by 2. This is the length of chicken wire that you will need. Cut it from the roll with your wire cutters.
Cut the section of chicken wire so that it is 60 inches in height.
Dig a narrow, 3-inch-deep trench around the planting area of your pine tree (where you placed the string).
Use a mallet to hammer one wooden stake into opposite sides of the trench. The stake should be deep enough to stand on its own.
Wrap the chicken wire around the tree. Position the cut vertical end of the chicken wire so that it is flush with one of the stakes and nestled in the bottom of the trench. Tie the vertical cut end of the chicken wire to the stake with small lengths of string threaded trough the loops of the chicken wire and around the stake. Then wrap the remainder of the length of chicken wire around the staked circle. Tie the second vertical cut end of the chicken wire to the fence with the string to secure it.
Fill in the trench with the excavated soil so that the chicken wire frame is securely buried.