I always say that the tree best times to put tree tubes on your newly planted tree seedlings are:
1. The day you plant (preferably the minute you plant!)
If you planted seedlings last spring (or even the spring before, or the spring before that) and are lucky enough that the seedlings are still alive, now is the perfect time to protect them with tree tubes.
Tree tubes will provide deer browse and rodent protection in the upcoming winter, and then will provide a burst of growth next spring – especially if you take advantage of the protection afforded by the treeshelters to spray the competing vegetation around your trees next spring.
If you do have seedlings that you planted previously, chances are they have been browsed by deer at least once, and most likely several times. That means they probably have multiple stems. Before putting your new tree tubes on them, prune them to a single stem. This can seem severe, and might mean pruning a high percentage of the above-ground growth the trees have achieved so far, but it really is the best thing for the tree and will result in the best growth next year.
Keep in mind that in autumn trees transfer carbohydrates from the leaves down into the roots, so by the time they go dormant most of their accumulated growth energy is stored in their roots. When you prune the seedling to a single stem, all of that growth energy will be channeled into that stem next spring, resulting in outstanding vertical growth to get the tree out the top of the tree tube and past the browse line.
A lot of folks must be discovering autumn tree tube application, because I’m selling more tree tubes in fall than I ever have before. Call or email today to order your tree tubes!