Grow Tubes / Tree Shelters for Trees

Grow Tubes / Tree Shelters for Trees

For accelerated growth, enhanced seedling survival, and reduced costs for commercial growers, reforestation projects, urban forests, and all tree planting projects large or small – use BLUE-X® Grow Tubes.


Grow Tubes And Blue Light?

BLUE-X® Grow Tubes are constructed using a patented two-piece method and are designed to protect young seedlings and accelerate early growth. BLUE-X® Grow Tubes are placed around seeds, seedlings or transplants at planting time, or retrofitted on existing seedlings.  Our grow tubes are packaged flat and the two pieces assemble very quickly.

Field studies of BLUE-X® Tree Tubes have documented increased growth rates averaging 100-150%, with certain species exceeding 500%. A seedling with enhanced early growth will always be ahead of a plant of the same age that does not have the growth advantage provided by a BLUE-X® Tree Tube.

When installed properly seedlings are protected from Deer, rodents, rabbits, and other herbivores.  BLUE-X® Grow Tubes also protect your seedling investment from an excessive wind that can cause drying and mechanical damage.  Our grow tubes help protect from chemical sprays, herbicide drift and provide non-chemical pest protection maximizing seedling growth and survival during critical early stages of plant development.  For almost 3 decades BLUE-X® has been leading the way in reforestation and woody plant establishment with 95 to 100% success rates.

BLUE-X® Grow Tubes create a beneficial microclimate inside the shelter for each seedling, with:

  • Increased humidity
  • Higher CO2 levels
  • Reduced drying and mechanical damage caused by wind
  • Protect young seedlings from wildlife browse.
  • Reduction of harmful UV light
  • Beneficial enhanced blue light

BLUE-X® Grow Tubes were the first tree tubes offering the unique characteristics of enhanced blue light.  Some of the benefits of blue light are to boost root development during critical early stages of biological transition into the surrounding soil.  This encourages diameter growth in trees, resulting in stronger trunks and branches as well as accelerate early vegetative growth.  For more information on the importance of blue light Click here.

BLUE-X® Grow Tubes are available in 15-inch (38 cm.), 24-inch (60 cm.), 30-inch (76 cm.), and 48-inch (122 cm.) and 54-inch (137 cm.) heights.  All BLUE-X® Grow Tubes are 3.5 inches (9 cm.) in diameter.  Depending upon the application, they can be anchored with a PVC, Steel, Wood, Fiberglass or Bamboo stake.  We can also supply custom heights on orders of 10,000 units or more.

NOTE: – Orders of 100 units or more of our 48-inch and 54-inch sizes will receive a free Staking and Ventilation Punch upon request.  Please check the box for “FREE PUNCH” on the order page.



We recommend that you prune and remove any unwanted suckers or lateral branches on your seedlings or bareroot trees prior to installing a grow tube.  This will give the best chance of establishing a strong healthy root system with overall accelerated growth rates at even root-to-shoot ratio’s helping to achieve a healthy successful planting!  For more information on pruning Click Here.


  • To assemble a BLUE-X® grow tube take a single sheet of blue plastic film (Part A), roll it up into approximately a 2” diameter cylinder and insert it into a blue-tinted poly sleeve (PART-B) which is open at both ends. The tensile strength of PET (Part-A) will form the tube when released inside of Part-B.
  • Even up the ends of Part-A allowing a minimum of one-half inch (½”) of Part-B to extend above the top of the inner sheet (Part-A). This step must be completed prior to anchoring to a stake or any hole punches for ventilation.


BLUE-X® Standard tree tubes are manufactured as a solid wall grow tube but can be vented with one of our staking or ventilation punches.  Once your grow tube is installed and anchored to the stake, simply pinch one side of the tube together and punch as many or as few holes as needed and repeat on the opposite side.  To learn more about our staking and ventilation punch Click here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We recommend that you not ventilate any lower than 24” from the bottom of the grow tube.  This allows room to be safe from human error with hand or mechanical sprayers when using any type of herbicides.  If you are going to use herbicides, we recommend that you apply them on a day with as little wind as possible.  Studies have shown that herbicides sprayed in just a 4-mph wind have traveled up to 10+ miles from the point of application.

For those that don’t want the stress and worry of spraying herbicides our VisPore® weed mats are a great option.  VisPore® weed mats do a great job keeping herbaceous weeds at bay directly around your new seedling or tree giving it the best chance for survival and a healthy successful planting.  To learn more about our VisPore® weed mats Click here


Just as important as the grow tube is to the success and survival of your tree, the type of support stake you choose for the installation will play a large role in determining your chances for a successful planting.

Choose the right support stake for the job at hand!  We recommend going longer and heftier than you think you may need.  Depending on your budget you have several options available in most areas.  Below are a few suggestions for support staking options.

  • ½” or ¾” Schedule 40 PVC – This option has become quite popular, very reasonable in price, and is available at most hardware and home improvement stores. PVC is also very easy to cut to your required lengths when utilizing the correct PVC cutting tool.  This option is possibly reusable depending how much-prolonged exposure to the elements they’ve received.  Use a bit of caution when reusing PVC support stakes, years of sun exposure can degrade PVC and cause it to become very brittle.
  • ½” or ¾” EMT Electrical Conduit – This option is available at most hardware and home improvement stores in 10-foot lengths and pretty reasonable in price. EMT is made of galvanized steel to prevent rust which makes this a good option for reuse.  EMT can also be cut pretty easily to required lengths needed for your planting.
  • 1” X 1” Wood Stake – Wood support stakes can be a bit pricy depending on the size, type of wood, and the area you’re in. Square support stakes have more surface area and typically are less likely to come loose when installed correctly.  If you choose to go with a wood support stake option, we would recommend using oak or some other hard wood over pine or fir for longer term applications.  Availability and price of these will depend on your area and lengths required for your planting.
  • 1” Bamboo – This option is quite popular as well and very reasonable in price. However, for longer term plantings where you think the grow tube will be on for more than a year or two, we recommend “not” using this option.  Bamboo breaks down and degrades rather quickly when surrounded by organic material and could cause you unwanted repair issues or worse, the loss of your entire investment!  Utilizing one of the other options above will give you the best chance for a healthy successful planting and much less hassle for longer term plantings.
  •  ½” Rebar – Rebar is more expensive and more labor intensive to cut but it is defiantly unbreakable and reusable. It is also available at most home improvement stores and can be cut to required lengths needed.
  • Recycling – Wood Pallets – We have had quite a few customers over the years send us photos of their plantings and what they use for improvised materials. Recycled Pallet Wood is readily available in most areas.  Pallet sizes available in your area will determine board lengths for support stakes.  This option is definitely more time consuming.  We encourage everyone to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

IMPORTANT NOTE:We recommend the use of a support stake that is a minimum of 1 foot longer than your grow tube height to assure that the tube will be anchored securely in the ground and staked the entire length of the grow tube.  This is necessary for the grow tube to perform correctly.  Longer support stakes may be required depending on the soil conditions in your specific area or planting site.