Protect tree seedlings

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
423
Erin, WI
I am prepping to pre-order tree seedling and any associated supplies. This spring I am planning on 25 tamaracks at $1 a pop and 25 eastern red cedar for $2.50 a pop. Should be under $100. In the past my occassional tamaracks I've gotten off the side of the road have done well but even if they end up growing tall they get trampled or rubbed by deer and destroyed. These two species shouldn't be high on the menu for deer, I generally avoid anything hardwood since I for sure would need major deer protection, hardwood is all I've currently got, and there is plenty of natural volunteers. How can I best protect tamaracks and eastern red cedar? Tree tubes for the tamaracks and cross my fingers for the cedar?

For tree tubes or other protection, any frugal suggestions? Paying more for the tree tube than the seedling really hurts.
 

MTY

Feeling the Heat
Jan 9, 2019
334
Idaho
I buy cheap black drain tile and rip one side with a reciprocating saw. If you bend it back on itself with the slit facing forward, the slit will open up to allow it to be placed around a tree that you cannot slip it down on due to brances.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sloeffle and tadmaz

MTY

Feeling the Heat
Jan 9, 2019
334
Idaho
I use whatever is cheap. 4" works best on bigger trees that bucks want to rub on. Tie it on, as they will tear it off. Some of my trees have perforated and some solid because one was cheapest the day I needed it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,426
South Puget Sound, WA
I buy cheap black drain tile and rip one side with a reciprocating saw. If you bend it back on itself with the slit facing forward, the slit will open up to allow it to be placed around a tree that you cannot slip it down on due to brances.
I use this same system to protect the bases of young trees & lilacs from the weedeater.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sawset

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,792
SW Virginia
We have a lots of Eastern Red Cedar (actually a Juniper) and deer. They seem to leave each other alone.

The better protective systems are clear or opaque to let light through.
 

Eureka

Burning Hunk
Feb 4, 2018
249
NW Wisconsin
I planted 200 2-3’ seedlings last summer and used Miracle Tree Tubes from treepro.com in 60” height and used 1x1 white oak scraps from my cabinet shop for the stakes. The tubes come ready to go with reusable zip ties to attach to a stake and were around $3.50 each in that quantity. I’ll remove them when the trees are mature enough and reuse or sell them. A friend has been using these at his property and they’ve worked and held up great. Promotes faster, more uniform upright growth.
No way I was going to gamble on that much work to plant all those, regardless of what the seedlings cost.
F75D19DD-6B23-444E-9FBF-56EFD34D108F.jpeg

I had 100% leaf out and good growth over all species this first summer. Many are coming out the top of the 60” tube already.
A horny young buck got in a fight with a group of them this fall and besides a couple new stakes the trees all made it.
F9CF437C-37D1-4E97-9469-2A674CEB24C2.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: sloeffle

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
423
Erin, WI
Really appreciate the detailed reply!! Gives me some more to think about.
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
423
Erin, WI
@Eureka I'm convinced to use 60" tubes for deciduous trees, but I will likely use 1/2" PVC for stakes. Does anyone know of the best way to protect a tamarack seedling? I don't think a normal tube would be good.
 

Eureka

Burning Hunk
Feb 4, 2018
249
NW Wisconsin
@Eureka I'm convinced to use 60" tubes for deciduous trees, but I will likely use 1/2" PVC for stakes. Does anyone know of the best way to protect a tamarack seedling? I don't think a normal tube would be good.
I asked one company about that and they basically recommend a larger diameter tube; 8" or larger for non deciduous trees. There are some companies making modular tube products that are designed to be zip tied together end to end to make larger tubes. They are shipped flat and have pre-punched holes for tying together. That being said, I suspect tamarack might do ok in the normal tubes. It would likely just grow upward faster but I couldn't say for sure.
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
423
Erin, WI
I was doing some more searching. I think this is what I might try. I think that's poultry netting, which is a lot cheaper than hardware cloth. Will probably use 1/2" pvc and maybe drill a hole to put a zip tie through, something along those lines.

 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
I've wondered about this same question. I think a nonprofit should develop very cheap options for this, as it is important to protect young trees that are planted in whitetail territory, for reforestation purposes. The commercial options are way too expensive, and it seems like a logical choice to use recycled materials for this.