Which Tree Tube color is best?

For the landowner trying to choose the best tree tube for his or her trees the issue of tree tube color can get very confusing.  Visit one web site and you’re told that blue is best.  Visit another and you read about the wonders of a pink or “peach” color.  Visit a third site and you see only green “treeshelters.”

So what’s the truth?  At Tree Protection Supply we have both followed the debate about tree tube color very closely, and have tested all of the leading brands of tree tubes ourselves on a range of species.

Here is what our experience and research has taught us about tree tube color:

1.  While the color of a tree shelter tube might have some influence over the growth of the tree, it is a VERY secondary consideration behind several much more important factors:

a) Tree tube diameter – the larger the better

b) Ventilation –to replenish the tube with CO2 for optimal photosynthesis, help trees harden off for winter properly in northern climates, and reduce the incidence of fungal problems caused by excess humidity in southern climates.

c) The TOTAL amount of light entering the tube (Since it took treeshelter researchers about 30 years to realize that “air = good” and start venting tree tubes, it took nearly as long for them to realize that “light = good.”  This is mostly due to early treeshelter researchers misinterpreting why trees grew faster in tubes and failing to realize that with better design the trees could grow even faster.)

2.  There is a difference between the theory and the reality.  Yes, trees use blue and red light for photosynthesis, so in theory if the tree tube’s walls absorb other colors of light that the tree doesn’t use while transmitting & reflecting red and blue light, growth will be increased.  Besides the fact that we haven’t actually seen that hold true in the field, the problem with that theory is that in order to significantly change he ratio of red & blue light relative to the rest of the light spectrum you have to significantly decrease the TOTAL  amount of light entering the tube… including the total amount of red and blue.

3. The actual differences between the light transmission curves for the various color tubes, given the same total level of light transmission, are very minimal.

So when shopping for tree tubes, don’t get too hung up on color.  Large diameter, ventilation and total light transmission are much more important factors in the success of your trees.

The world’s best selling tree tube, Tubex, is green.  A green tube with high light transmission, large diameter and venting will grow trees a lot faster than a tube of a different, theoretically “better” color that is less translucent, unvented or smaller in diameter.

This is the advantage of buying your tree tubes from Tree Protection Supply!  We carry only the products that, based on our experience, best meet the needs of landowners.  And we sift through the conflicting & confusion claims out there to give you the best unbiased information.

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