I have been tracking the progress of a block of almond trees in grow tubes near Kettleman City, CA. They were planted as 12 to 20″ tall grafted trees in late January, 2013. Here is what they looked like at the time:
Here’s what they looked like in March, as temp’s started to increase and growth initiated:
Here’s what they look like now, in September 2013 with just one growing season under their belt:
These trees are now as large – if not larger – than trees in a neighboring field that were much larger (and MUCH more expensive) at planting time.
But the thing that really impresses me is the girth of these trees. Again, keep in mind these trees were tiny at planting – 18 inches tall or so.
These trees are now about 1.5″ in diameter at the top of the 2ft grow tubes – that is some serious biomass production. Basically these trees added about 2-3 years worth of biomass growth in one year, and best of all the roots will never have to be disturbed for transplanting. When it comes to short term costs savings, reduced time until first harvest and long term tree health,
Small potted stock + grow tubes > Large bare root stock + paper tree guards
… and it’s not even close!