The mesh was very good quality, and believe it will prevent moisture retention or build-up, removing the threat of mold and mildew, and less heat build-up within the cap as has been noted in balloon bud capping techniques.
Finding the oak seedlings: On future sites we are going to attempt painting the tips of our oak seedlings (blue or pink) prior to planting, it should assist in finding the small seedlings on future browse protection contracts. This technique should be feasible anytime after the possibility of another flush (or significant growth) is over.
It was time a time consuming project between finding the trees and the application.
The application: It was hard to stretch the mesh on the newly planted 1-0 oak stock (<1/4 inch stem diameter at terminal bud), as the stems would bend more easily than the mesh would. As the stems add girth and become less flexible it would be more effective, as we saw on the stump sprouts. Roughly 1/4 of the mesh caps slipped down the stem of newly planted stock, due to inability to stretch the mesh tight around the stem, based on follow-up regeneration survey in May, 2019.
The stump sprouts (>/= 1/4 inch stem diameter at terminal bud) were sturdy enough to take the stretching of the mesh around their stem. They were much easier to fasten tightly around the terminal bud and much easier to find due to their size (1-3') and typical clumps found on oak sprouts. Mesh caps worked well in browse protection based on follow-up regeneration survey in May, 2019. Particularily the stump sprouts, if they were not protected - they were 100% browsed.
Pine: Very easy to put on, and similar to paper bud caps, needles held the caps in places securely without the need to stretch the mesh.