A customer and I were laughing together the other day as he recounted how he – inadvertently – invented tree tubes… and then discovered they already exist.
This gentleman in upstate New York has been planting trees – mostly apple and white oak – for years. After deer started browsing his seedlings he constructed 4ft tall wire cages to protect them. After deer started browsing the trees that grew above the 4ft cages he realized he had to switch to 6ft cages to provide complete protection from browse.
Meanwhile he also realized that rodents were gnawing on the bark of his trees around the base. So he applied plastic spiral trunk wraps to each of his trees. Then he found that weeds were competing with his trees, but in order to safely spray Roundup around them he had to shield each one with a length of stovepipe while spraying.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a single, affordable, easy to use product that a) protected seedlings from deer browse until they grow past a certain height, b) protects from rodent damage, and c) allows you to quickly and safely spray weeds without damaging the seedlings? Thus, the tree tube was invented. Again.
Luckily, somehow this gentleman found tree tubes on the web. For the man who has constructed 2 wire cages and purchased separate bark wrap those 52 (notice – 52, not 50 or 60 like some would make him purchase!) 6ft Tubex Combitube Tree Tubes seemed a great bargain. Because they are.
What I worry about – what keeps me up nights – is all the folks out there struggling to construct various deer browse cages and find suitable tree bark wraps that don’t do more harm than good. All that money, all that time, all that frustration… when the solution is right here.
What encourages me every day is the unbelievable rate at which new orders are coming in. Every new order represents someone who has discovered tree tubes for the first time, and will no longer suffer the frustration of failed plantings or expensive, cobbled together, partial solutions. Every repeat order – and man, there are tons of them! – is someone who has experienced success and wants to plant more.
Normally with a long, cold winter like the one being experienced across most of the country January and February orders are a bit slow. Not this year! Sales are running way ahead of previous years, despite the fact planting season seems a long way off for many folks. Our warehouse is buckling its collective seat belt and knows it’s in for a long, busy spring of shipments.
I always tell them that every shipment is one more person who is no longer going to have any failed tree plantings. And in this case it’s one more person who, through years of trial and error, invented tree tubes, only to find they were here all the time.