Thursday, 19 November 2020
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Hi,

I'm planting about 100 sprouts that I can get super cheap (about $20) from our state's nursery. 25 red oak, 25 hickory, 25 wild plum, 25 deciduous holly in a couple of patches, buffer zones, and edges. I do not believe the hollies will be proper for tree tubes because they are too bushy so I'll have to put a metal fence around each one which will take some work. But the oaks, hickories and plums can go in a tree tube.

Q: I'm considering the 71" Plantra tree tubes. Any experience (positive or negative) with these? I see you recommend Miracle tubes and Tubex.

Q: I've never used tree tubes but if I understand correctly, the tubes are not removed until the tree is about to outgrow the tube. The Plantra tree tubes are perforated and designed to split the tube when the tree gets big enough. But how do you prune the tree while it is in the tube? Do you remove the tube and then replace it? From what I've seen, sprouts that grow into seedlings need pruning and sometimes the branches can get deformed in the tubes. How do you get at the trees to groom and prune them if the tubes are supposed to remain on the trees for several years? Especially when the tubes are 5-6'?
2 years ago
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#348
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I prefer Protex 5ft tree tubes. They aren't the most convenient to put together, but you can always open them up to prune or weed inside the tube. I use 6ftX3/8inch fiberglass poles for support. You can cut wood post. I don't like the idea of rebar because it could be a hazard in the future. I've done this with good success on about 100 red oak seedling transplants. The trees need to grow out of the tube for 2-3 years so they can handle the wind or you can use a wooden stack for support if you need the tube for new seedlings.
2 years ago
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#349
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Hi,

I'm glad to hear that you've got so many sprouts to plant! That'll be an impressive future stand.

To answer your questions:
1. I don't have any personal experience with the Plantra tubes, but a quick Google search showed that they would probably be effective at protecting your trees. When looking at tree tubes it's important to consider a few key components, like stability of the tube and ventilation. The tubes we recommend are structured enough in our experiences that they won't fall over on the tree when staked down and they have air holes on the sides of the tube to let the tree "breathe." If the Plantra tubes you're considering meet these standards then it is likely they will be work well. The other thing to consider is height, as you want to keep the deer at bay, but at 71" the Plantra tube is more than tall enough. I usually use 60" tubes, which is the shortest height I recommend.

2. You're right in saying you should keep the tube on until the tree is going to outgrow it. More specifically, you should keep the tubes on the tree until the trunk is strong, and you can test this by gently pulling the tree towards you. If it has no resistance to you then leave the tube on, but if it feels sturdy then it could be time to remove the tube. If you take the tube off before the trunk reaches a diameter of 4" you may want to buy a bark protector to keep the trunk from damage by buck rub. And of course, you want the tree to be tall enough that it will be safe from deer browse.

Sprouts will need pruning when inside the tube, and you can handle this differently based on how big your tree is. If the tree is small enough for you to slide the tube off and back on without causing damage, then that will be easiest. If the tree needs serious pruning but it is too big to take the tube off, then you can cut the tube off the tree, prune it, and replace it with another tube.

Just in case you haven't seen these already here are some MyWoodlot links you may find helpful:
Installing tubes- http://www.mywoodlot.com/images/supporting_information/installing_tree_tubes.pdf
Protect planted trees- https://www.mywoodlot.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=619
Maintain planted trees- https://www.mywoodlot.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=620

Good luck with your trees and let us know if you have anymore questions!

Jessica
2 years ago
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#350
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Got it! Either carefully remove the tube, prune and then carefully rotate back on. Or use the Protex tubes. Thanks! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
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