Window screen protection


Active Member
I recently planted some small apple bare root trees. I put 18" of window screen on them to protect them inside of the tubes. Some of the trees were shorter than the screen. It is very loose around the tree. Will this hurt the tree if the screen is taller than the tree right now or should I have waited until later in the summer when the trees have grown to put the screen on them.
What you don't want is the screen to impede the top of the main leader. If there is a large enough opening to the main leader to grow through then you will be fine. If not, then I would take it off in not to bend or kink the main leader. Just thinking out loud as I have never put screen around the entire seedling. As a matter of fact, I don't use window screening on trees that are tubed-only trees that are caged. Is a good idea though because mice can get into those tubes. I have lost one tree in a tube from varmints but I think it was some ground dwelling critter as it ate all the roots.
I haven't ever planted apple trees that small but I agree I only screen when caging and use a tube otherwise
I would have preferred them a little bigger but at less than a dollar each I thought I would take a chance on them. Even after the tubes and screen they are still less than four dollars a tree. Might pull the screen off until later in the summer or fall when they had a chance to grow.