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Blog - orchard supplies

Get That Orchard Growing With Tree-T-Pees

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If you run an orchard, what do you need? Good soil, of course. Water, fertilizer, workers to pick the fruit once it’s on the trees.

Oh yeah, and you also need the trees themselves to make it an orchard! There’s no orchard without trees, and there’s no big and fruitful trees unless you’ve planted and protected the saplings for years. That’s where the Tree-T-Pee comes in, an amazing (and surprisingly simple) invention that has a host of uses when your want to grow your trees as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Here at Frostproof Growers Supply, we’re big fans of these little cone-shaped devices, because they allow orchards near and far to get more out of their crops while putting less in. Let’s take a look at how the Tree-T-Pee can make life easier in an orchard.

Wait, Where Have I Seen The Tree-T-Pee Before?

If you think you’ve heard of Tree-T-Pees, it’s possible you saw them on the television show Shark Tank, a popular television show where investors invest in small businesses. The creator of the Tree-T-Pee is a second-generation farmer, Johnny Georges, who went on the show because he knew just how amazing his product was but wasn’t able to get the word out. He knew that his Tree-T-Pees save farmers a lot of water (more on that later) while protecting their plants, and he sought out help on Shark Tank.

The Tree-T-Pee is a removable and reusable cone-shaped, high-quality plastic device that covers and protects a tree in its early stages of growth. Its shape resembles that of a traditional Native American tipi. Because there are many variations on the word tipi, many people who are searching for Tree-T-Pees might type in tree tipi, tree tpee, tree t pee, tree tee pee, tree teepee, or tree tepee.

Reduce Water Usage

The Tree-T-Pee was created primarily as a water-saving device. The creator was incredibly concerned with the amount of water that farmers use to water their trees when they are saplings, not only because of cost but also from an environmental standpoint. The main problems with watering trees in the traditional way is, of course, evaporation. Orchards are often found in warm climates, and watering trees with airborne water leads to a huge water waste.

Tree-T-Pees fix the problem by applying the water directly to the soil around the new tree, spraying the base of the tree directly. The cone shape of the T-Pee helds to prevent evaporation, ensuring that the water stays at the base of the tree instead of evaporating into the atmosphere or becoming runoff that encourages nearby weed growth. It also ensures that the water goes deeper into the ground instead of evaporating from the surface.

You might think to yourself “sure, it saves water, but is that such a big deal?” You haven’t heard the numbers yet! In a study by the University of Florida, the amount of water it took to water a tree dropped from 8.6 gallons per day down to 0.65 gallons per day; that’s a water savings of 93-percent! If you could save 93-percent on your water bill, you’d probably do so.

Imagine if every orchard used Tree-T-Pees. It would save billions of gallons of water, which translates to money savings and the ability to keep prices of healthy food low.

Reduce Fertilizer Usage

Young trees aren’t able to absorb a lot of fertilizer at once, but orchard growers always want the fertilizer to be there when the trees need it. That often means putting down too much fertilizer, most of which ends up in the groundwater or as runoff in creeks and rivers. It’s also a huge waste of fertilizer, as many fertilizing methods end up fertilizing the area around the tree and doing nothing to help the tree itself. And, much like water, liquid fertilizers can evaporate into the air, polluting the air and water and requiring orchard workers to wear even more safety gear such as respirators, goggles, and chemical spray suits

Just as it does with the water, Tree-T-Pees keep the liquid fertilizer in place, meaning that you can use less per tree and save yourself a huge amount of money in fertilizer. That way you know exactly how much fertilizer you’re using. There’s no guesswork as to which tree received more fertilizer than another, because you’re able to deliver the exact right amount.

Reduce Herbicide and Pesticide Usage

Why protect unnecessary parts of your entire orchard when you could be protecting the trees themselves? When you use Tree-T-Pees, you’re be able to deliver the proper level of herbicides and pesticides to the roots of the tree. The only time you’ll need to use airborne sprayers is when you need the application to be on the leaves themselves.

Reduce Fuel Usage

Most orchards spray water for 6-8 hours a day when supporting new trees and do so with gas- or electric-powered irrigation pumps.

When you reduce the amount of water by using Tree-T-Pees, the time using the pumps drops precipitously. Instead of running the pumps for eight hours a day, many orchards have reduced that length to under an hour. Not only is water saved, but so is the amount of fuel and energy used, which saves the orchard even more money.

Protect Them Physically

When you look at the Tree-T-Pee, you can see that it’s not protecting the entire tree. In fact, it kind of looks like it’s offering up a nice salad for any creatures that like to nibble succulent leaves. Of course, the Tree-T-Pee can’t cover every inch of a tree, because it still needs its leaves out to photosynthesize. (If you are looking for ways to keep animals from snacking on your new trees, check out our pest control right here. It includes repellents and netting to keep tree-hungry animals away.)

But the Tree-T-Pee certainly does offer some physical protection. Some animals are mostly interested in the bark of the tree, which this product covers nicely during its early stages. It also protects the tree from being stepped on, which happens more often than we’d like to admit. Tree-T-Pees make the tree locations stand out more, and their connecting water tubes make the tree rows much more defined.

Tree-T-Pees Protect Plants From Frost

Frostproof Growers Supply hails from the city of Frostproof, FL, which was so named because it “would never have a frost.” Two years after the city was named, a huge frost came and wiped out much of the citrus crop!

Even if you think that you live in an area that will never see frost, you shouldn’t bet your new orchard trees on it. The Tree-T-Pee can raise the temperature of the soil around a tree by 10 degrees, which can save it from a frost. They can also be used if you want to plant trees earlier in a season than usual; the black cone absorbs heat during the day, and the water you pump in creates a tiny little sauna which keeps the tree and the roots warm.

Trees Grow Faster

When it’s cold, trees tend to grow more slowly. And we’re not just talking about the cold that winter brings; we’re talking about every night as temperatures cool. If you can keep that temperature up at night — like with a tiny sauna provided by a Tree-T-Pee — you’ll be able to encourage the tree to grow faster.

What does that mean for an orchard? Tree growth can actually increase by as much as 30-percent, depending on weather conditions and the type of tree. This means that trunk and canopy growth are increased considerably, and a tree can start to produce fruit years earlier than if it didn’t have a Tree-T-Pee. Not bad for a sub-$10 product! (At the time of this writing, a Tree-T-Pee can be purchased from us for as low as $6.10 apiece with local pickup.)

It’s Time To Give Tree-T-Pees a Try

Okay, so we’ve told you how Tree-T-Pees can save you money in water, herbicides, pesticides, and fuel. And when you save all of those, you’re also helping the environment for future generations. So, let’s put this in a real-world scenario: how long until Tree-T-Pees pay for themselves. At current prices it usually takes between one and two years to recoup the initial outlay of money. After that, it’s cost savings year after year after year, and you’ll be able to feel good that you aren’t using nearly as many resources while delivering the same amount of produce.

The numbers are convincing, but we know how difficult it can be to change things in an orchard. Why not set aside a small spot of new trees, buy a small number of Tree-T-Pees, and discover for yourself just how efficient these amazing things can be. Grab some today to experiment, and be sure to keep track of just how much you’re saving by working with Tree-T-Pees. When you realize that 10% of the trees are using 90-perfect fewer resources, we think you’ll be convinced to come back and use them with all of your new orchard trees. Click here to check out our Tree-T-Pees!



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