Plantra ~ 58" SunFlex Grow Tubes with 74” Trunk-Builder Stakes - Doe Shield (10-Pack)
Plantra ~ 58" SunFlex Grow Tubes with 74” Trunk-Builder Stakes - Doe Shield (10-Pack)
Plantra ~ 58" SunFlex Grow Tubes with 74” Trunk-Builder Stakes - Doe Shield (10-Pack)
Plantra ~ 58" SunFlex Grow Tubes with 74” Trunk-Builder Stakes - Doe Shield (10-Pack)

58" SunFlex Grow Tubes with 74” Trunk-Builder Stakes - Doe Shield (10-Pack)

Plantra

Regular price$139.98
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The 58" SunFlex Grow Tubes with 74” Trunk-Builder Stakes - Doe Shieldprotects broadleaf deciduous seedlings against chewing beaver and nutria. Keep your new trees growing up straight and strong in beaver/nutria habitat with SunFlex.

Part Number: SFXV0L-6074-0010

Stake Driver Included.

  • 100 available.
  • Inventory on the way

Each 10-Pack Contains:

  • 10 units - SunFlex 58-in. Tall Greenhouse Grow Tubes
  • 10 units - 74-in. Trunk-Builder fiber-reinforced fiberglass stakes
  • 30 units - Twist Lock® Soft Wire Ties (3 per grow tube)
  • 10 units - Bird Exclusion Mesh Tops (1 per grow tube)
  • 1 - Stake Driver (one per customer)


Product Specifications - SunFlex™ Greenhouse™ Grow Tube System - Doe Shield™ 6074


SunFlex Greenhouse Grow Tubes - Doe Shield 

  • Made In USA
  • Grow Tube Height = 1475mm / 58in - Minimum height for deer browse protection
  • Grow Tube diameter = 99mm / 3.9 in O.D.
  • Grow Tube construction = Rigid, twin-walled structure promotes efficient sunlight diffusion and rugged structural integrity
  • Sun light package = Proprietary pigment for optimal plant growth in the widest range of sun conditions
  • Venting = Perforated vented sections standard on all SunFlex Grow Tube promote CO2 replenishment and proper dormancy
  • Perf-line designed to burst as tree reaches the maximum diameter of the tube
  • Attachment = 3 Twist Lock® Soft Wire Ties per grow tube (included)
  • Bird exclusion mesh = Included as standard equipment on all Plantra grow tubes over 3ft tall (included)
  • Material = Environmentally sensitive polyethylene blend
  • U.V. field life = 7 years or more under average conditions


Trunk-Builder™ Fiberglass Support Stakes

  • Stake Length = 1880mm / 74in.
  • Profile = 3-sided
  • Material composition = E-glass fiber-reinforced polymer, UV stabilized
  • Strength = Designed to be 110% the flex strength of 1/2 in fiberglass rod
  • Color = High visibility white
  • 58-inch Grow Tube Greenhouse Prevents Browsing By Deer
  • For Use With Deciduous (Broadleaf) Tree Seedlings
  • Greenhouse Micro-Climate Grows Seedlings Healthy & Fast
  • Includes 74-Inch Trunk Builder Grow Tube Stakes To Grow Trunks Straight & Strong
  • Also Includes 3 Twist-Lock® Soft Wire Ties & 1 Bird Exclusion Mesh Top Per Grow Tube
  • Comes With Free Stake Driver (1 stake driver per order)

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Deer are unquestionably the number one threat to nearly all wild-land and many urban tree plantings. In fact, when you're planting in "deer country" SunFlex may be the only hope a young seedling has. White-tailed deer, with an average height of 36-40 inches at the shoulder plus its neck and head length, can easily browse most any unprotected tree below a height of about 4½ ft tall. 

Trying to grow unprotected hardwood seedlings in deer country is usually futile. Unprotected seedlings stand no chance against hungry mouths - see image on right showing the all-too-familiar fate of an unprotected seedling repeatedly browsed and unable to grow-up to escape deer and other critters. 

Using shorter tube shelters less than about 4½ ft tall is also of little use as these tube heights expose the emerging tree right at, or close to the feeding level for most North American deer species. Once deer munch the top of the emerging tree it's natural form is irreparably harmed. The tree usually responds by robbing its root system to replace lost growth in multiple stems in an often futile effort to grow past the deer. The solution needed here is a real grow tube that's up to the challenge of protecting and growing your trees safely above the browse line. The 71-in tall SunFlex Buck Shield or 59-in tall SunFlex Doe Shield Grow Tubes get the job done the first time, every time.

The before and after images below show how easy it is for deer to browse seedlings that emerge from the top of shorter tubes (35-in tube shown below). The lesson here is, don't waste money trying to save money on tubes too short for the animal threat in your area. Instead, choose a the Plantra grow tube tall enough to get the job done right the first time you plant. Don't let deer make a meal out of your seedlings. Choose the SunFlex "Buck Shield" or "Doe Shield" Grow Tubes to grow your trees past the deer!

Before & After - Night-time raid by whitetail deer on 35-in. tube caught on trail cam demonstrates 
the need for taller (59-in minimum or 71-in preferred) grow tube shelters in deer country.

What Is The SunFlex System?

SunFlex is the only integrated grow tube system ever designed to grow your seedlings taller, straighter, and bigger - all in record time the way professional nurseries do! 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 strengthThe SunFlex System is the "growers choice" to get hardwood seedlings Survive, Thrive and Succeed, the first time, every time.

Born in a greenhouse, SunFlex wins the battle for seedling establishment in your field, yard or open space! SunFlex combines superior seedling protection and greenhouse growth benefits with trunk-building flexibility of a rugged, reinforced fiberglass support stake. Together, they grow your seedlings "naturally" inside a mini-greenhouse that "moves" with the wind to promote accelerated but balanced growth both inside and outside the grow tube. 

Why Should SunFlex Matter To You?

That's simple. Trees grown inside SunFlex have the highest survival rates and healthy, balanced growth from roots to shoots all to make your planting a success the first time, every time! The key to the SunFlex System is its unique ability to grow the seedling "naturally" inside its state-of-the-science greenhouse that "moves" with the wind to promote accelerated and balanced growth. Traditional tree tubes and tree-shelters do not optimize PAR sunlight and rely on old-tech, rigid staking systems (made of oak, wooden lath, metal and bamboo) that inhibit natural stem growth and strength. SunFlex, on the other hand, protects and grows! By promoting optimal growth inside and outside the grow tube you might say that SunFlex plays 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 from roots to shoots 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. To combat this loss, SunFlex optimizes the "Big 4" (Sunlight, CO2, Moisture & Temperature) to maximize your tree's potential and funnel 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 Grow Tubes are twin-walled for superior light diffusion and translucent to growth-optimizing sunlight trees and shrubs need. SunFlex is packed with advanced greenhouse technology to stimulate phytochrome to grow the whole plant from roots to shoots necessary to get your new seedlings off and running with the sun. And unlike products with different diameters, SunFlex grow tubes have a uniform diameter so all of your trees get the same great growth maximizing benefits, not just some of them. After all, we believe 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. Cross-Flow increases CO2 replenishment, reduces excessive moisture buildup and promotes proper dormancy (hardening off) before winter, even in the coldest regions.

2. Trunk-Building strength, ease of use and long field life are 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 (patent pending) is the only "purpose-built" grow tube shelter support stake engineered with trunk-building flexibility and strength to grow bigger, healthy stems and roots. Like everything we do at Plantra, it all begins with growing the plant and 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 "thigmomorpogenesis." Unlike traditional, rigid staking systems which can lock tubes in place and prevent natural movement of the developing tree trunk, Trunk-Builder gently moves back and forth when the wind blows and returns 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 combined with 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 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 slash the time and effort to drive them in.
  • Last but certainly not least, Trunk-Builder stakes last and last until the job is done. Say good-bye to wood or bamboo stakes that warp or rot off & break in only a year or two leaving your tubes flat on the ground and your seedlings broken & unprotected....or dead. When you add up the short field life of wood or bamboo stakes, the cost and time to replace them every time they rot or break and the cost of replacing lost seedlings when they do, Trunk-Builder is only a fraction of the cost. Trunk-Builder makes your investment count because they're virtually unbreakable and UV resistant to last far beyond the minimum 7+ years your grow tubes need to remain standing. 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. 

SunFlex® Greenhouse™ 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!

Sunlight Note: SunFlex is a greenhouse designed for a wide range of sunlight conditions which receive a minimum of 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sunlight per day during the growing season. The image at right illustrates where to plant your seedlings if using a grow tube. Avoid planting seedlings and using any grow tube, tree-tube or tree-shelter in deep shade. Plants, especially small seedlings, need sunlight and plenty of it. Planting under established and shady tree canopies increases root competition for young seedlings that would grow better in a space of their own.

Please use care in choosing planting locations where your new seedlings receive enough sunlight and other resources for optimal growth. Plan for their needs the day of planting and for the seasons to come. If you are unsure how much sunlight your seedlings need or the best locations for planting, consult with your local nursery professional, preferably the nursery that supplies your trees.

Choosing the correct grow tube height - Any discussion of grow tube (and tree-shelter or tree tube) height needs to factor in two things from the get-go; deer browse and minimum desired branch height.

1. 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 4½ ft tall. That's why SunFlex 59-in Doe Shield Grow Tubes are the bare minimum, and 71-in tall Buck Shield Grow Tubes are the preferred heights to protect against deer browse. For severe deer pressure a 71-in height should be considered mandatory.

Planting a seedling in a grow tube (or tree-shelter or tree tube) height below 4½ ft in deer country is a recipe for failure because it puts the emerging tree top right at or close to the feeding level for all North American deer species. Once deer munch the tree top emerging from a shorter tube the tree's natural form is irreparably harmed. The tree almost always responds by pushing multiple leaders trying to replace what was lost to get at least one stem to grow past the deer.

As the tree matures, multiple leaders produce weakened main stems caused by narrow branch angles that become part of the trunk (provided that the tree ever does make it past the deer). Stems with incorporated narrow branch angles are prone to crack and snap under even moderate wind-loads as they mature. 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.

2. Determine the minimum branching height - Deer are the primary reason 59-in Doe Shield and 71-in Buck Shield Grow Tubes are necessary to protect young broad leaf (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 to get higher into the tree. 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 not grow beyond 6ft or so. Dwarf variety fruit and nut trees have lower branch scaffold heights and require shorter grow tubes to 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 grow tube height:

  • Full-size (appx.18ft-25ft or taller) = 59-in or 71-in grow tube height
  • Semi-dwarf (appx. 12ft-15ft) = 59-in or 71-in grow tube height
  • Dwarf (appx. 8ft-10 or less) = 24-in to 47-in grow tube height

Note: If planting on hillsides, a taller grow tube may be necessary to protect on up-slope side.

Installing The SunFlex Grow Tube System

Step 1 - Plant seedling

Always follow your nursery supplier's guidelines on when, where & how best to plant your new seedlings.

Step 2 - Prepare the seedling for tubing.

If your seedlings have side (lateral) branches please remove them carefully using sharp pruning shears before installing the grow tube (see figure 1). Be sure to avoid cutting the terminal leader and when you are finished your seedling should have a single stem with only leaves or very tiny branches left on the side.

NOTE: Do NOT bend side branches to squeeze or otherwise force them into the grow tube. Doing so will encourage weak branching and other problems as the tree matures.

Step 3 - Install Grow Tube and Support Stake

A. Position stake 1.5 - 2 inches from the seedling with ground-line marker towards the ground. Use Plantra SunFlex Stake Driver for stakes 47in and taller (36in stakes can be driven with a soft mallet) and drive stake until ground-line marker reaches the soil surface (see figure 2).

B. Pop grow tube open by flattening tube its entire length in opposite direction as packed. Next, slide the grow tube over the top of the stake and down to the ground carefully guiding both the seedling and the SunFlex stake entirely inside the grow tube (see figure 2).

NOTE: This method of installing support stake inside the grow tube is recommended for SunFlex stakes only.

The SunFlex Stake has a rounded top to avoid stem abrasion and a small diameter to avoid crowding the seedling inside the grow tube. Other stake materials should not be installed inside grow tubes as their sharp edges could damage stems that come in contact with the stake top and have large diameters which will occupy important growing volume inside the tube the tree should have.

Steps 3C-3E (see figure 3)

C. Position the grow tube so a flat side of the stake is snug against the side of the tube and in line between the paired tie holes.

D. Firmly tap the top of the tube to seat the tube base into the soil. Mound additional soil around the tube base as needed to reduce entry by rodents. When completed, the tip of the SunFlex stake should be at least 1-2 inches above the top tie hole and below the top of the grow tube.

IMPORTANT: Firmly tap the top of the tube to seat the tube base into the soil. Mound additional soil around tube base as needed to reduce entry by rodents.

E. Attach the grow tube to the stake with 3 Twist Lock™ Soft Wire Ties included. Begin by inserting 1 Twist Lock™ tie through a top tie-hole from the outside, guiding it around the stake and back out the other paired tie hole. Twist both tie ends firmly so that the tube and stake are tight together to prevent the grow tube from sliding up from wind or contact by animals. Repeat steps for middle and bottom tie holes.

TIP: Bend the Twist Lock™ tie about 2 inches from one end to make a "curl." Use the curled end to thread the tie into one tie hole, around the stake and out the other tie hole.

Step 4 - Install bird exclusion mesh top (see figure 4)

All SunFlex Grow Tubes 4ft tall and taller come with exclusion mesh netting intended to discourage birds from entering the tubes.

When installed, approximately 1 inch of mesh cap should remain closed at the top as shown in Figure 4A and 4B. For 4ft and 5ft grow tube heights the mesh tops should be pulled down to height of tie holes. For 6ft SunFlex Grow Tube installation, the mesh cap will only extend about half-way down between the top of the tube the tie holes. In this instance, the tie ends will need to reach up to hook the netting in place to allow enough netting above tube top to remain closed.

Additional Considerations

A Word About Weed Control
Weeds and grasses steal light, water, and nutrients from your seedlings and provide cover for stem-girdling rodents. Every square foot of soil is capable of producing a limited amount of biomass growth. By controlling weeds, growth potential is maximized. Plantra Water Saver™ Weed Mats stop weeds in their tracks and provide a safe alternative to chemicals.

Grow Tube After-Care
SunFlex Grow Tubes are designed to last for years until your trees are big enough to make it on their own. In the first season or two, new leaves will form on the stem inside the tube as the seedling grows. Please do not remove these green leaves - they are important to fuel the tree early growth.

During the first season(s) be sure that the bird exclusion mesh tops remain in place on all tubes taller than 3ft. If any mesh tops are missing before seedlings grow within 6 inches of the tube tops please call our Grower Success Team at Plantra and we'll send you replacements free of charge. Once seedlings get to the top of the tube the mesh tops are no longer needed and should be removed.

To keep your trees fully protected beyond the first growing seasons, do not remove SunFlex Grow Tubes until the tree trunk has grown to the size of the tube diameter. If you're running behind checking on your trees, SunFlex Grow Tubes are perforated along two sides their entire length, allowing the tube to split open once the trunk diameter grows bigger than the diameter of the tube.

Waiting until the stem grows to the size of the tree tube diameter ensures that your tree is "wind-firm" and ready to support itself entirely. Doing so also allows the tube to help protect the main trunk against damage by antler rub, gnawing rodents or mechanical injury. Once your trees outgrow the tube diameter the tubes and support stakes should be removed from the field. SunFlex grow tubes can be recycled and SunFlex stakes can be reused again and again.