Tree Tubes on American Chestnuts

One of the many great things about my job selling the best tree tubes on the market is that it allows me to play at least a small role in the recovery and reestablishment of the American chestnut tree.

If you don’t know the story of the American chestnut, which was decimated during the first half of the 20th century by a fungal blight, I encourage you to visit the American Chestnut Foundation and support their amazing work.

ACF has been working for decades to breed an American chestnut tree that embodies all of the characteristics that once made it the dominant hardwood forest tree from New York to Illinois to South Carolina, while gaining the blight resistance of its Asian chestnut cousin (the fungus originated in Asia, and since Asian chestnut trees coevolved with it they are largely immune to its effects.)

A customer in Pennsylvania doing a large scale planting of American chestnuts (by direct seeding!) bought Wilson tree tubes and pvc tree tube stakes.  She was kind enough to email me an update and some great photos of the project.

American chestnut seedling in Wilson Tree Tubes

4 month old American chestnut tree grown from seed in a Wilson Tree Tube

Tree tubes protect a new planting of American chestnut trees

Many of these American chestnuts - planted from seed in spring 2011 - are peaking out of their Wilson Tree Tubes (click to enlarge).

I’m delighted to report that the results have been fantastic, in terms of survival and growth.  Notice I didn’t say I’m surprised to hear the results have been fantastic.  With our tree tubes I also expect fantastic results, but never get tired of hearing about them!

This project consists of planting non-resistant chestnuts.  Once a grower or a group can demonstrate that they can successfully establish chestnut trees, then they become eligible to receive some of the very limited number of blight resistant chestnuts for future plantings… so you can see how critical the success of projects like this is!

I’m thrilled to be a part helping these folks get these chestnuts off to a great start (it’s never a bad thing to have more chestnut trees, blight resistant or not), and to help them move one step closer to playing a role in re-establishing the mighty American chestnut through planting the blight resistant seeds ACF has worked so long and hard to develop.

You might notice that these tubes are different from the green, taller, vented Tubex Combitube Treeshelters we also offer.  These are shorter, side-opening tubes called grow tubes.  Grow tubes offer many of the same benefits as tree tubes – browse protection, reduced moisture stress for higher survival and faster growth, etc. – but provide only limited deer browse protection.  In this case the entire planting area is surrounded by deer fence, so Wilson Grow Tubes provided an economical alternative, allowing the customer to get a bigger bang for her limited buck.


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