That’s the first I’ve seen that regarding grow tubes and root growth. I do remember seeing a study showing that no tube, unpruned vines had the most leaves versus three different color grow tubes–so greater root growth could follow that. But I wonder how many vines they dug up to support that claim.
I was wondering that too, but haven’t taken the time to do more research on it.
Plenty of questions in your post, but I’ll address this one.
Tree tubes are designed to be left on the trees until the trees are the caliper of the tube and “force” the tubes to open along the seam. By doing so, the possible weak trunk issue becomes a non-issue.
Agree on leaving on a long time and also agree that 4 foot worked well here.
I switched over to 3’ tubes last year for most things that I’m pretty sure the deer won’t eat on like pawpaw and persimmon. But I have to use 5’ tubes for things like mulberry and chestnut. On certain plants I’ve started out with 3 or 4’ tubes just to see if the plant will make it high enough. If they don’t I just cut some more tube and attach it to the top.
I still haven’t had any rodent problems. I checked over 200 tubes this year and found maybe 4 nests but no damage. I do find quite a few wasp or hornet nests. No big deal since I’m only checking in winter.
There’s an article somewhere about using 1/2" pvc for supports. I guess this allows for some wind sway helping to stiffen the trunk. I don’t know. I don’t see why it matters if we’re leaving them on for many years.
I stopped using the plastic zip ties since they don’t last very long. Switched over to rebar wire.
I have had a few plants not harden off in time but I’m not sure it was the fault of the tube. They bounced back the next year.
I buy some bigger/better zip ties to replace the supplied ones. I also add one to the top of the tubes now. I just wrap it around the tube and stake to keep the tube upright when a zip tie inevitably fails.
As far as zip ties go, if you buy the black ones that are UV resistant you’ll have many fewer problems with them failing. The Miracle Vented tubes I posted a link to come with thick, removable/reusable UV resistant ties.
The foresters I work with call them “tree killers,” as they tend to kill trees planted in them if they are left untended. Often the stake holding the tube up rots before the sapling is strong enough to hold the tube up on it’s own. So the tube flops over with the tree still in it, killing it.
^^^^Tubex comes with them too. I buy some wider ones that seem tougher to replace the original ones when they break or become crispy.
1/2" pvc rated for outdoor use solves that problem.
I use the vinyl covered metal stakes. Never had one fail, even in monsoons.
Lots of good tips here , thanks.
@PermaAZ, are you referring to these plastic coated metal stakes ? Or something else
I like the idea of something that flexes in the wind, but does not break.
These are right around $1.25 per 5’ stake including tax. Buy them in 10’ sections, cut in half…boom 2 stakes. Watch the sale flyers and you can get them even cheaper.
I get mine from HD. They’re 8’ long and cost around $5.
I hammer them into the ground about 4’ since my soil is a sandy mollisol. PVC is the most popular to use. I may start using it myself.
I get these or ones very similar from Rural King.
Has anyone experimented with using short pieces of rebar pounded into the ground to put PVC tubes over, Im guessing it would be hard to pound PVC into the ground very far?
I’ve used rebar, wooden stakes, bamboo, plastic coated garden stakes, and pvc stakes over the nearly 20 years I’ve used tree tubes. All work to some extent. I’m sold on the pvc because they flex in the wind, creating stronger trunks. I use 5’ pvc stakes with 5’ tubes. I pound the stakes into the ground about a foot and 90% of the time have no problems.
I generally use tall rebar ( sourced from the scrapyard )
To hold up wire tree cages in the orchard .
I have been painting them white or blue lately…
Had one that was leaning over , a few years back , that about scured me on the tractor. Very dangerous, must be keep track of.! May be easy in a yard , but on a farm ,… Things get lost track of.
Short pieces of rebar , may be more dangerous, could fall on them, flat tires , etc.
I have a long auger 3/4 in.x~ 1 ft. ,for a cordless drill I often use to set bamboo and other stakes.
It’s the kind electritions use to drill holes for wire.
Ask a electrician Freind for one with a Broken tip.
Still works good in dirt.
Easyer for me than beating on things , and would likely make a nice hole for the 1/2 in. Conduit
Can you show a pic of your screen vole cover for tree trunks? I have a terrible vole problem and have tried a variety of methods. Hardware cloth seems a good size, but is difficult for me to manage on all my trees. Thanks