Thursday, January 27, 2011

When To Remove Your Tree Tubes

One of the most frequently asked questions about tree tubes is:  “When should I remove them?”

All too often tree growers remove their tree tubes too soon.  Remember, a tree tube has two jobs:

1) Protect the tree until it grows up past the deer browse line, and

2) Support the tree until it is firmly established.  Removing treeshelters too soon allows them to do only half of their full function.

The second most common mistake? Not removing the tree tubes at all, thinking they will break down and disappear in time.  Tree tube suppliers themselves share some of the blame for this, since in the early days it was thought that tree tubes would indeed photodegrade completely on site.  Here are two important rules of thumb to follow:

RULE OF THUMB #1:  Your tree tubes will need to be removed.  Yes they are photo degradable and will eventually break down in sunlight, but that won’t happen for 10 to 15 years in most cases. (On the other hand, if tree tube manufacturers leave out the UV inhibitors that increase durability, then the tree tubes won’t last long enough to get the job done.)  Best practice for the health of your trees and for the aesthetics of your site is to remove and properly dispose of your tree tubes.

RULE OF THUMB #2:  Remove your tree tubes when the trees inside are approximately 3 inches in caliper (diameter) at the base, BEFORE they start to push out against the walls of the tree tubes.
Our Tubex Combitube Tree Tube is made with a laser-line perforation so that the tree tubes will split open and expand rather than constrict the growth of your trees.  This is especially helpful for large scale and back country plantings that don’t get visited very often.  Even with this great laser line feature it’s still better to remove and dispose of your tree tubes when the trees reach 3 inches in diameter at the base.

If you have any questions about our tree tubes – or any tree tubes on the market – please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We have a wealth of experience we can share to make your project as easy and successful as possible!  And be sure to visit us at to learn more.

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