Tree Tubes = Awesome


Do you put mouse poison bars around your property to kill rodents?


No I don’t. Not sure how many it would take on 87 acres. I’m also concerned about secondary poisoning. I sure don’t want to accidentally kill predators that are mouse/vole eating machines.


oh yeah, thats a lot of acres, you have that many acres of fruit trees? I think most of the bar bait posions arent super potent, my 55lb dog ate a whole one last fall I had left unprotected in my yard and he was fine, the box says theres enough poison / bar to kill I think 15 mice, but 15 mice dont weight very much! Now I put them inside PVC pipe to make it harder for larger animals to get to them, but rabbits and smaller still have access. Id guess if a rabbit or similar ate enough to kill it, a significantly larger mammal eating the dead rabbit wouldnt be even close to LD50, birds could be a different story as they seem to be more sensitive to chemicals usually. I did some research and for the poison that was in the bars I purchased and the weight of my dog, I think ld50 / bar was something like 20lbs of animals, so it would have taken 4 of them likely to kill him, still not a good thing eating one tho for sure. I had to watch him very carefully for the next couple days. Those numbers could be off a bit, but I remember that it wasnt going to likely be fatal for him. My wife of course thought we should take him to the vet immediately, but I didnt discover the bar had been eaten super quickly, it was the day after I put them out so likely the poison was already too far digested to do much anyway. Im assuming he ate it because hes the only large animal that has access to my back yard and where I placed it one day, the next day when I checked there were just a few pieces scattered about on the ground, not likely a rabbit would have consumed the whole thing overnight.


No, I only have about 1.5 acres of fruit trees. However, those trees are in two locations and the other acres surround them. I don’t think I could effectively remove/kill all the mice/voles on those 1.5 acres and not have more move in from elsewhere.
At one point I intended to take the class so I could get licensed to apply Rozol. I didn’t do it because of my concerns for secondary poisonings. I also know that by wrapping my trees with aluminum screen, I can solve 100% of above ground rodent damage issues. The window screen is cheaper than tree tubes anyway. It is just more labor intensive to apply and then remove to paint trunks (and re-apply after painting).

As I typed this a marsh hawk soared above my house, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen them and other avian predators pounce on little rodents here. I know farmers used to shoot or trap many birds of prey, but IMO they are helping me more than hurting (I suppose once they kill a chicken I may be a bit perturbed)


I checked the rest of my tubed trees today. Out of around a dozen, I found one that had been chewed on about half way around, I’m hoping it will recover. I pulled the rest of the tubes and put aluminum window screen around the bases. I’m fortunate to have found this problem when I did, and for not having so much snow on the ground it would have been tough to discover or apply the window screen. Lesson learned

I did spend a fair amount of time thinking about tree tubes over the last few days. I do like that they accelerate growth so that I can get trees above the browse line more quickly. I think the only purpose they’ll serve for me is with first year grafts. I will use them to protect and grow out first year grafts, then pull them in August and apply window screen.


Do you think it would help, when planting the tree, to bury the tube a couple inches down into the dirt? Or maybe just make a small screen/wire circle around the outside of the tube going about a foot off the ground? Im planning to move about 20 apple trees from my in town yard out to my land next spring, Was thinking about using 2 3’ tubes stacked instead of a single 5’ tube, cheaper that way also…


My experience with tree tubes also found them to be mouse havens. Lost 3 nice 3 year old trees. Also some varieties put out numerous limbs inside the tube so the tube had to be removed to prune off these limbs. And although you may gain in the height of the tree I believe you lose in the diameter of the tree. I ended up with tall “whippy” trees that had to be staked after tube removal. I now use window screen and concrete wire fencing and am very satisfied with this protection. But whatever works best for you. More than one way to skin a cat. :grinning:


I use cages made of 2x4 welded wire 6 ft tall, some 1ft diameter , others 3ft.
These last 20 + years , usually 3 yrs is all it takes to grow a tree big enough so that I can remove it and use it on another little tree.
Cost is comparable to a tree tube, life span much longer
Painting them white helps to find them in grass if misplaced .
I have used window screen at the base of tree for rodents.
Have not used tree tubes, due to short life and concerns of trees warming up and breaking dormancy. .? Is this a issue?

What if you lifted the tube up afoot and used window screen at the bottom.
Better ventilation , reduced rodent habitat ,taller tube for deer protection
? ? ?


FTR…the vast majority of my trees had 3’ aluminum window screen on the trunks going into winter. Those that had tubes were first or second year trees. I agree that the likely “best” method of protecting fruit trees is 3’ high aluminum window screen around the trunks (probably buried a few inches deep into the soil, though I don’t do this) and a 5-6’ tall cage (I used to go with 5’ diameter, have now gone to around 2.5’ diameter) of welded wire or concrete mesh. I also paint the trunks from the ground to around 6’ with white latex/joint compound/wire to protect from sunscauld.

I cannot remove the exterior cages unless I want a buck to destroy the tree come fall. Maybe once a tree is 15 years old a person could leave it unprotected, but even then it’s a risk I think.


How do the mice even get into the tube? Do they just dig under it? And when you’ve had damage is there always a nest in the tube? I wonder if landscaping fabric is a deterrent.


1/4" opening is all a mouse needs. All of my fruit trees have 4’x4’ squares of woven polypro landscape cloth.


I’ve used tree tubes for decades to start fruit and nut trees. In last few years I make sure the tubes I buy are vented. I’ve never had mold issues and only lost one tubed tree in all these years and you’ll never guess how. The top net blew off and a bluebird investigated the tube for nesting purposes, could not fly out, died and fell down on the tiny tree smothering it. Death by bluebird. Maybe a first. So please use nets on top of tubes- they should come with the tubes, if not, please order separately. Bluebirds thank you.


How long do you like to leave them on for? No mouse problems for you?


No mouse problems- I push the base into the dirt as much as possible. I leave tubes on pawpaws until the tree is growing out the top and is ready to withstand full sun.


Just want to bump this back up.
I am doing a planting in a thinned woodland, as part of the NRCS cerulean warbler project.
So cost shared.
They are requiering tree tubes on newly planted trees
i have no experience with tubes
I have read the comments above. And am thinking of going with a 60 inch vented tube with bird nets.
Possibly " tree Pro" brand.
Planting will be a mix of fruit / nut trees ~ 100
Does anyone have… updates / comments / recommendations
Brand names / sources. / etc…?

Main goal here is deer browse protection , so thinking 60 inches


Grow tubes are used commonly in grapevine growing. They aren’t my favorite as they promote lanky growth and can hide Japanese beetles that will go to town in the tubes. Those should be lesser problems with trees but something to consider. With grapes they must be taken down before the end of fall (it’s often done before the start of harvest), as mice enjoy the protected environment and will girdle the trunk.

Grape grow tubes are usually 30 inches tall but if you found a good enough deal you could stack them (since normally it’s just a stake snaked through the tube). Double A Vineyards sells them but you could also ask vineyards in your area, they often collect dust in barns after a single use.


My favorite tree tubes are 60" Miracle Vented tubes.

I have used a number of different tubes, and have been satisfied with all of them. The 60" Miracle tree tubes have held up the best, have a rolled top to prevent wind damage to tree bark, and are the easiest to install/take off.


pruning_training_and_grape_canapy_management.pdf (857.3 KB)

I found this presentation about growing grapes last fall when I was doing research on it. Slide 15 indicates that there is less root growth with tubes. Do you have any thoughts on that? Would it be the same with tress you think?


That is a good link about grapes !
Someone ? Should put that in our ( link )resources here , on grapes ( not sure how , or where best .)
Lots of good info.

Anyhow …
My site / program requires tree tubes.
So ,. Good root growth or not ?
I am looking for good ones. And ideas.
Issues I have seen / heard of whith tree tubes are:…
Rodent nests if setting on the ground
Over heating if unvented, and on ground
Trees seem weak when the tube is removed, they can hardly stand by theirself , as they have Allways had support.
Japanese Beatles , and other pest ,etc,that go unnoticed,because they are out of site, protected from predators.
Can’t see what going on in there …?
Does a shoot need removed ? Other,… Etc…
“Tree pro” are a flat sheet ,zip typed to form a tube
One can open the seam, to inspect.
" miricale tube" while maybe stronger ? Are a tube. Can only inspect by removal.
Again ,I have no real experience here, just speculation, and observations of others .
I normally use electric fence or wire cages to protect trees here. So tubes are new to me.
Usually I figure 3yrs to grow bigger than a deer.
Web site mentioned 7yr life span.
Can I use these twice ?
How long are they useful ?


I left grow tubes on hardwood trees for many years and as I recall the tree trunks stiffened up once the tree tops got a few feet taller than the tube and blew around in the wind some.