Great Tree Tube Results - Then Wind Problems

Discussion in 'Nursery' started by Fishin' Rod, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Fishin' Rod

    Fishin' Rod ArboristSite Lurker

    Dec 19, 2016
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    Central Kansas
    We have started multiple tree plantings on our farm (south-central Kansas). Some of our plantings are in the open native grass fields to initiate some new shelter belts.

    The seedlings started in 5' tree tubes are showing exceptional growth. However, when the trees emerge from the tops of the tubes, they are immediately assaulted by the prevailing strong southern winds. The tree below is a good example of this problem. [Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor.]

    This 24" inch seedling was planted 4/2/16. It is already 4.5 feet out of the top of the 5' tube.

    DSC_0622 - resized.jpg DSC_0625 - Resized.jpg

    The tree tries to straighten the main leader during calm conditions. However, we rarely go more than 10 days in the spring and summer without a day with south winds from 20-30 mph. We will even have several days a year with gusts over 40 mph.

    I you look closely in the second photo you can see the lighter bark right at the flex point of the leader. I am afraid the trunks will be permanently damaged on all of my trees that are in the open windswept areas.

    [The tree tubes are staked to 3/4" PVC. I usually run a wire from the stake to the deer fence. The tree tube itself then just has a little wobble, even in windy conditions. The basal flare on the trunk of this tree looks very healthy.]

    Any advice from the experts on saving my trees from this wind damage?

    Thanks, Rod.
  2. PJM

    PJM ArboristSite Operative

    Sep 22, 2010
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    It's time to remove the tubes once the seedling pops out the top. You may need to loosely stake the trees until the stems strengthen.

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