Late last week I received an email from a tree tube customer in Mississippi updating me on the progress of his trees (my favorite kind of email!). He said:
“Here’s a couple (photos) from about a month ago (August)..excuse my lack of weed control within the rows in this pic..I mistakenly forgot to put roundup in my tank on this spray!
“I’ll get you some more soon when I do my annual “report” on tree survival. These trees are approx 18 months when these pictures were taken. I’m 5’10”.”
There are so many cool things about this email it’s hard to know where to start! The first is that folks are out there actively monitoring and photographing the progress of their trees. The second is having a customer apologize for the lack of weed control. (25 years ago when I started in this business finding a tree planter who actually did weed control was a rarity. Now I have customers who so clearly understand the importance of good weed control that they feel the need to apologize when they get a little behind. This customer’s “lack of weed control” is still better weed control than most tree planters do!)
The third is that he does an annual report on tree survival and performance. That level of attention to detail is what leads to results like this. These trees were planted as 12 to 24 inch seedlings in spring, 2013. In the photos below you’re seeing the results of two growing seasons. The fourth is that he’ll be sending more photos soon – the absolute best part of my job is seeing my customers experience success.
The bigger point to me is how tree tubes have changed everything. Twenty five years ago tree planters didn’t do a lot of weed control for two simple and very logical reasons: They couldn’t find the darn trees amidst the weeds and brush, and even if they could locate and spray around those trees without damaging them, the trees were likely to get eaten by deer or scorched by drought. Why waste time on weed control for trees that aren’t going to make it anyway? Same thing with good planting stock. Why buy expensive seedlings if they’re just going to get eaten by deer? Better to buy a couple thousand 25 cent seedlings, chuck ’em in the ground and hope for the best.
Tree tubes make good growing practices both possible and worthwhile. You can find and spray around your trees. And if you do everything right – buy and plant good planting stock, do your weed control (remembering to actually put the Roundup in the tank 🙂 tree tubes make sure that all that work won’t go to waste, and will yield results worthy of photographs and annual reports.
Tree tubes are a game changer. Here are the photos he sent. Again, 18 months after planting 12 to 24″ seedlings (and click photos to enlarge).