If we peruse the old agricultural papers, we see this topic reappearing every fall. Because late in the year is the time to protect your trees from winter rodent damage. The following inquiry appeared in the Country Gentleman, published in Alabany, NY on October 20, 1910:
"PROTECTING TRUNKS.—Please inform me where I can obtain veneer strips or similar material for putting around trunks of young apple trees to prevent Injury from sun scald, mice, etc. E. D. C. Bantam, Conn.
We do not know of any one in the East who is making or selling these veneer strips for tree protectors. They can be bought of the Burlington Basket Co., Burlington, LA. With the great revival of interest in fruit growing now going on in the East, this orchard device should be taken up by some Yankee manufacturer. Perhaps it would be well in this connection to consider the feasibility of using newspapers. Three or four thicknesses of common newspaper bound about the stem of a young tree will protect it effectually from the damage sometimes caused by small rodents. New York Sunday papers preferred, as no self-respecting beast would touch one."
The Heirloom Orchardist does not recommend wood veneer strips for this application. Nowadays, this material is too expensive, and it degrades quickly. Fortunately, there are better products available today, from our friends at Nature Hills: