Treeshelters, Tree Shelters, Tree Tubes, Tree Protectors – Clearing Up The Confusion

I had an email exchange with a customer last week that illustrated the confusion many people have about tree protection products.  In part the suppliers of these products have been responsible for this confusion because there are no agreed upon terms for certain types of products.  In part the confusion is caused by the fact that different groups of customers seem to have given the same product different names.

This is an effort to clear up at least some of the confusion.

Treeshelters = Tree Shelters = Tree Tubes

These 3 are all terms for translucent, plastic, tubular products designed to go over seedling (3ft or shorter) trees or even planted acorns, chestnuts or walnuts.

In other words, the tube is meant to be taller than the tree it is protecting – to begin with.  Treeshelters/Tree Tubes provide physical protection from deer and other animal damage, but they do much more than that.  They function as ‘mini greenhouses,’ reducing moisture stress to increase survival rates and accelerate growth.  They also make it easy to find tiny tree seedlings in a field of grass or a forest of brush, and shield the seedlings from herbicide spray to make weed control fast, east… and just plain possible.

The original term used when these were developed in the UK was tree shelters.  When tree shelters came “across the pond” in 1988 the first users in the USA were professional foresters who called them treeshelters.

More recently one of the largest groups of treeshelter users has been sportsmen planting trees to enhance wildlife habitat.  This group of folks started calling treeshelters “tree tubes” amongst themselves, and the name stuck.

So whichever term you prefer to use, tree shelter, treeshelter or tree tube…

1. You’re describing a tall, cylindrical, translucent tube used for growing* a tiny tree up past the browse line

2. You’re best deal on the very best tree tubes on the market – Tubex Combitube Treeshelters – is at Wilson Forestry Supply

* I almost forgot – to confuse things even more, some folks use the term Grow Tubes.  The name makes a lot of sense, but creates confusion because the term grow tubes is most commonly used by vineyard and orchard growers to describe the shorter tubes they use.

So if you’re looking for Grow Tubes for forest or wildlife tree seedlings, go here

And if you’re looking for Grow Tubes for grapevines or orchard trees, go here

Tree Protectors

Tree Protectors, on the other hand, are products designed to protect the bark of somewhat larger trees.  (Again there is still confusion here since some suppliers of what are truly tree tubes refer to them as “Tree Protectors.”

Products designed to wrap around the bark of sapling (5ft) or larger trees should be opaque so the bark does not get heated.

At the moment Wilson Forestry Supply does not have a Tree Protector or Tree Bark Protector for sale, but you can purchase them from our good friends a Tree Protection Supply of Newnan GA.

Hope this helps, and happy planting!

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