… then why not use them on all your trees in the first place?
I have been following the progress of a block of pistachio root stocks planted in 2011 using paper spray guards rather than Wilson Grow Tubes, and have noted in previous posts how much this block lags behind blocks planted at the same time using grow tubes.
I have also noted the inconsistency in growth of this block, making field budding and other management practices more time consuming and difficult.
I drove by this block again yesterday and noticed that they put Wilson Grow Tubes on their replants. I have long said that using grow tubes on replants is a complete and total “no brainer,” for two reasons:
1) The tubes will provide spray protection so that you can use the same weed control treatment around the replants you do around the 2nd year trees
2) The root stocks planted with the grow tubes will quickly catch up with the 2nd year trees.
… Which begs the question, “If grow tubes cause the root stocks to grow twice as fast, far more consistently, and make weed control a breeze, why wouldn’t growers just use them on all their trees the first time they plant?”
Luckily for me, more and more pistachio growers are doing exactly that.
Of course this greatly reduces my “grow tubes for replants” market, because grow tubes reduce the mortality rate to virtually nil. But that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!