SunFlex Greenhouse Grow Tube & Stake System
- SunFlex Grow Tube / Stake System - Buck Shield 71in Height
- SunFlex Grow Tube / Stake System - Doe Shield 58in Height
- SunFlex Grow Tube / Stake System - Beaver Shield 47in Height
- SunFlex Grow Tube / Stake System - Jack Rabbit Shield 35in Height
- SunFlex Grow Tube / Stake System - Bunny Shield 24in Height
Please Note: If Deer are in your area, only 58-in & 71-in grow tube heights will protect against deer browse!
SunFlex Greenhouse Grow Tube System - The science and engineering your trees need to get growing with the sun!
Stop deer and other critters from killing your small trees! The SunFlex™ Greenhouse™ Grow Tube System not only grows your trees healthy and fast, it protects from animals so your small seedlings are free to grow.
Physical protection from animals is important, no doubt. But the biggest benefits to the SunFlex System are its scientifically designed greenhouse grow tube microclimate and "trunk-building" support. Together, they grow your seedlings fast, safe and healthy from roots to shoots. There is no better way to grow long-lived, big trees than to do what nature does - start small and grow the tree in place without disruptive transplanting which can rob growth and reduce a tree's lifespan.
The image to the left shows healthy, fast-growing wildlife trees in the 71-in tall SunFlex Deer Shield™ Grow Tube System. These trees have strong stems loaded with fruit and are a whopping 9-11 ft. tall. They were planted as small,12-in tall bare-root seedlings and were only half-way through the 4th growing season when the photo was taken!
What Is The SunFlex System?
Born in a greenhouse and scientifically designed and engineered, SunFlex wins the battle for seedling establishment in the field, yard or open space! SunFlex is the only integrated grow tube system ever designed to grow your seedlings taller, straighter, and bigger, all in record time....naturally. Only SunFlex combines superior grow tube design which works like a mini-greenhouse with super strong, rot-proof, Trunk-Builder™ stakes that support and flex to build stem strength. The SunFlex System is the "growers choice" to get hardwood seedlings to Survive, Thrive and Succeed, the first time, every time.
Not Sure Which SunFlex System Is Right For You? Follow the steps below.
Step 1 - Choose the SunFlex System best suited to your animal threat and desired survival/growth level because "No matter how many are planted, the only trees that matter are those that live!"
Protect against deer browse or damage from other animals - Deer are unquestionably the number one threat to nearly all wild-land, and today, many urban tree plantings. White-tailed deer, with an average height of 36-40 inches at the shoulder plus its neck length, can easily browse any unprotected tree below about 4.5ft (52 in.) tall. Trying to protect a seedling in a grow tube (or tree-shelter or tree tube) below this height in deer country is a recipe for failure. Any grow tube, tree-tube or tree-shelter less than 4½ ft tall exposes the emerging tree top right at, or close to the feeding level for nearly all North American deer.
Once deer munch the tree top of an unprotected tree or one emerging from a shorter tube, the tree's natural form is irreparably harmed. The tree usually responds by robbing its root system to replace lost growth in an often futile effort to grow past the deer. The before and after images below show what happens to unprotected seedlings and those in tree tube shelters less than 4½ tall when it's dinner time for deer.
To fully protect your trees and their natural, healthy form, don't skimp on grow tube height if deer are in your area.
See the chart below to match grow tube height to deer and other animal threats.
Step 2 - Match the SunFlex System height to your planting stock's mature size and desired stem form.
Determine the minimum branching height - Deer are the primary reason 58-in and 71-in grow tube heights are necessary to protect young broadleaf (deciduous) trees. But these taller grow tubes have the added benefits of promoting taller and straighter stems and branch-free trunks below the height of the tube. This is important for both wild land and urban jungle plantings. Low branches are magnets for deer to browse on and raccoons to climb on. In urban plantings these same low branches can easily be damaged by landscape equipment or even by children climbing on young trees not strong enough to support their weight.
A good rule of thumb is; the taller the grow tube the better the tree form. The exception to this rule involves dwarf trees that may only grow to 5ft or 6ft at maturity. Dwarf variety fruit and nut trees need to develop lower branch scaffold heights and shorter grow tubes allow lower side branching. Consult with your nursery about how tall your trees will grow to make the best choice for grow tube height. Generally speaking the guidelines below are good yardsticks for choosing the best grow tube height for your trees:
- Full-sized deciduous (broadleaf) trees = 71in or 58in
- Semi-dwarf deciduous trees = 71in or 58in
- Dwarf variety trees or scrub trees with low, bushy or shrub form canopies require a shorter tube height to allow branching at lower heights. These trees will need to be protected with additional caging around the entire perimeter of the branching zone to protect against deer browse.
Note: Dwarf varieties may require lower branching. Choose the SunFlex System to match the height you want the lowest branches to form (often referred to as the lowest branch scaffold).
Why Should SunFlex Matter To You?
Trees grown inside SunFlex have the highest survival rates and healthy, balanced growth to make your planting a success the first time, every time! The key to the SunFlex System is its unique capacity to grow the seedling "naturally" inside the state-of-the-science greenhouse that optimizes sunlight and "moves" with the wind. The synergy between greenhouse and natural movement promote accelerated and balanced growth inside and above the grow tube as your trees develop. Unlike traditional tree tubes and tree-shelters which employ different rigid staking systems and are focused on only on protection, SunFlex protects and grows! By promoting optimal growth inside and outside the grow tube, you might say that SunFlex delivers below and above the tube rim!
The SunFlex Seedling System works for you and your hardwood seedlings two growth-maximizing and money-saving ways:
1. Faster, balanced growth from advanced SunFlex greenhouse technology means bigger, healthier trees.....faster!
- SunFlex protects and grows your seedlings healthy, fast and strong with advanced greenhouse technology that assures your seedlings survive against the many threats that can kill them in their first seasons. Seedlings often lose 75% (or more!) of their potential growth due to the impacts of environment stress caused by wind, animals and physical damage. SunFlex preserves your tree's potential and funnels it into growth instead of just survival. With SunFlex, the need to replant over and over because of wind desiccation or animal browse will be over...for good!
- Unlike traditional tree tubes and tree shelters, SunFlex Greenhouse Grow Tubes are twin-walled for superior light diffusion and translucent to the specific, growth-optimizing sunlight trees and shrubs need. SunFlex's advanced greenhouse technology stimulates phytochrome to grow the whole plant from roots to shoots necessary to get your new seedlings off and running with the sun. And unlike other tube products with different diameters in the same pack, SunFlex Greenhouse Grow Tubes have a uniform growth-maximizing diameter so all of your trees get the same chance to grow big and strong. After all, every tree should count!
- In addition to providing superior greenhouse benefits, the entire SunFlex series is engineered with Plantra's exclusive Cross-Flow™ venting to promote effective air movement. Proper airflow is critical to replenish CO2 during the growing season and to reduce excessive moisture buildup in the fall to encourage normal dormancy (hardening off) before winter, even in the coldest regions.
2. Trunk building strength, ease of use and long field life is engineered into every Trunk-Builder™ support stake.
- The only way to grow the "best tree" is to grow the "whole tree" and that includes the main stem. Plantra's Trunk-Builder™ stake is the only "purpose-built" grow tube support stake ever engineered with trunk-building flexibility and strength to grow bigger, healthy stems and roots from the start! Like everything we do at Plantra, it all begins with what's best your future trees. Trunk-Builder is no exception. Trees use a variety of environmental influences to grow and wind is an important factor in normal stem development. Trunk-Builder stakes harness the wind to stimulate plant growth responses that encourage stronger stems - a process known as "thigmomorphogenesis." Unlike traditional rigid staking systems, which can lock tubes in place and prevent natural movement of the developing tree stem, Trunk-Builder stakes gently move back and forth when the wind blows and return to straight to train your trees tall, straight and strong.
- The secret to Trunk-Builder is balancing strength and flexibility, which all starts with a fiber-reinforced backbone composed of woven, overlapping layers of premium grade e-glass that bend but don't break. Scientifically engineered for superior strength, solid reinforced construction and load-bearing 3-sided geometry gives Trunk-Builder greater strength and memory than standard 1/2-inch round fiberglass rods or non-reinforced, hollow plastic or light gauge metal materials that bend and can stay bent.
- Better stem growth and rugged construction are just the beginning of the Trunk-Builder stake advantage. Three-side geometry increases surface area contact with the soil to hold fast even on the windiest sites and all but eliminates "tube spinning" common to hollow or solid round plastic and metal stakes. But while they hold tough to grip the soil and the tube, Trunk-Builder stakes are easy to use because they weigh less than 1/3 the weight of the same length oak stakes and drive like a dream. This means you can carry more stakes at one time and spend less time driving them in.
- Last but certainly not least, Trunk-Builder stakes stand tall, straight and strong until the job is done. Say good-bye to oak and other wooden or bamboo stakes that rot off or break in only a year or two leaving your tubes flat on the ground and your seedlings unprotected.....or dead! Trunk-Builder stakes are virtually unbreakable and are UV resistant to last far beyond the minimum 7+ years your grow tubes need to remain on the job. And when they've got your seedlings off and running with the sun on their first use, pull the Trunk-Builder stakes to use again and again. When you add up the short field life of wood or bamboo stakes, the extra weight to ship them (especially oak stakes), the cost buy them every time you plant or replace every time they break, trunk-Builder stakes are far less-expensive than other stake materials. Simply put, Trunk-Builder helps get your trees growing straight and strong and naturally, the first time, every time!
SunFlex Grow Tubes and Trunk-Builder Stakes are the ultimate seedling establishment system. Together, they'll grow your seedlings faster, bigger and healthier below and above the tube rim!