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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] grow tubes / dormancy

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  • From: Lucky Pittman <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] grow tubes / dormancy
  • Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 08:40:43 -0600

At 08:28 AM 10/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:

What is the difference between these grow tubes and plastic spiral tree wraps?

The grow tubes or tree shelters are typically double-walled polyethylene tubes - either pre-formed or able to be fastened into a tube shape with cableties. They serve several purposes - they advertise the presence of small seedlings, protect against lawnmower blight and weedwhacker wilt, guard against browsing by deer, and act as mini-greenhouses - lessening the dessicating effects of direct sun and wind on young, establishing seedlings, and any moisture tanspired supposedly condenses on the inner wall of the tube and runs back down to the roots. There may also be an added growth effect by way of the tubes 'trapping' CO2 produced by soil organisms, and keeping it available in higher concentrations for utilization in photosynthesis.

I've used them, and still do, to a lesser degree, on occasion, but rarely leave them on for more than a single growing season, as oaks, in particular, seem to grow rapidly, but are very spindly without the 'caressing' of the wind to stimulate them to develop some strength of trunk. I've seen northern red oak and burenglish seedlings grow out the top of a 4-ft shelter in one season, but if you take the shelter off, they will flop over on the ground, almost like a vine.

Here's a link to TreePro, the type I've used most.

Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY

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