Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tree Tubes: Yes, Time Does = Money

In recent posts, we've been looking at the hidden costs of tree tubes.  In the last post we looked at shipping costs, and how with certain tree tubes you have to use a longer stake to compensate for a flimsier tube.

In this post I want to look at time.  Professional tree planting contractors, for whom time literally does equal money, universally prefer the Tubex Treeshelter design.  There's a little more up-front cost that some other tree tubes, but they save 22.73% on installation time (approximately!). Why?

1) They come ready-to-install, already in circular shape
2) The ties are pre-threaded and looped - all you have to do is cinch them tight around the stake

Sometimes private landowners and hobbyists doing their own tree planting work think, "I have a limited budget and I'm not paying myself per hour to install tree tubes, so I might as well save money on the tubes and spend a little more time installing them."

Even if, in a literal sense, your time does not equal money (in other words, you're doing this on your "free" time) this line of thinking doesn't work.

First, keep in mind that there is ALWAYS something else you could be doing with your time.  Extra time spent installing lower cost treeshelter tubes is time that you're not doing weed control, pruning, fertilizing, or other activities that contribute to the success of your project.

Second, chances are that the very aspects of the lower cost tree tubes that make made them cost less in the first place are aspects that will require much more maintenance down the road... and more time on your part.  For example, if a tube ships flat it must then be formed into a tube in the field.  If it was made flat, it is probably a flimsier design that can either revert to a flat shape or bend or buckle in the field, requiring additional work on your part to reshape, cinch up ties, etc... and again that's time you could be spending doing something more productive.

So even if you are a private landowner planting trees on your own time and on your own dime, time still equals money.  So many things go into making your tree planting project a success, and your time - while perhaps not valued in dollars - is extremely limited.  Any money you save on tree tubes that take longer to install and require more maintenance will be lost if you get behind in weed control and other activities critical to the success of your trees.

Thanks for reading, and as always to learn more please visit us a

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