Tree Tubes: Giving lie to the myth of the slow growing oak!

J. Russell Smith, economic geographer and author of the landmark book Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture, wrote that oak trees should sue poets for damages.  Poets use oaks as a convenient metaphor for slowness; sturdy, strong, enduring… but slow!

Oaks are not slow growing.  Plant them well and control the weeds around them and you’ll be amazed by how fast they grow.

Select and sow acorns from carefully selected naturally occurring hybrid oaks, give them 4ft Tubex Combitube Tree Tubes with PVC stakes, aggressively control weeds, fertilize them and provide supplemental water when needed and you literally won’t BELIEVE how fast they grow!

Last year at almost exactly this time I showed you this photo:

Hybrid oak growing in Tree Protector

Hybrid white x overcup (Quercus alba x lyrata)
Planted March, 2011 as 24″ seedling
Photo taken October, 2011 – seven months later
Tree height approximately 8ft 1in

This is a hybrid oak (white oak x overcup oak).  It was planted in March 2011, as a 24 inch seedling.  The photo above was taken on October 3, 2011 – just seven months later.  Height at that time:  8 feet 1 inch!

On the one year anniversary of that photo my customer sent two more photos of that same tree.

Hybrid oak in tree protector

Same tree, exactly one year later
Two growing seasons after planting as a 24 inch seedling

It is common for height growth to slow down the year after a tree emerges from a tree tube, while the tree reallocates growth energy into thickening its stem and building stronger roots.

Of course in the case of this tree “slowing down” meant it “only” grew about 2.5 to 3ft this year (it’s now well over 10ft tall, just two growing seasons after being planted as a 24 inch seedling).

But what really had me excited was this photo:

Hybrid oak in tree protector

Basal caliper of a hybrid oak just two growing seasons after planting as a 24 inch seedling.

The diameter of the PVC tree tube stake at left is 1 inch.  The basal caliper of this hybrid oak is nearly 2.5 inches!

Come to think of it, we’re shattering myths here – one old and one new.

The misconception of oaks as a slow growing tree has prevented people from planted them in the numbers they deserve.  Wilson Forestry Supply is working hard to fight the myth of the slow growing oak, and encouraging people to plant oaks whenever possible.

The other misconception is that tree tubes produce tall trees, but trees with weak spindly stems.  That might have been the case with the old small diameter, unvented tree tubes that were originally imported from the UK.

As you can clearly see, that’s no longer the case with today’s large diameter vented tree tubes with flexible pvc stakes!

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