Blow over is a real problem for container-grown tree nurseries, from damage to branches and extra labor spent picking the containers up.

The patented Tree Collar from High Caliper can be used with a cabling system for securing trees and preventing wind blow over. The Tree Collar fastens to a cable line to hold a row of plants in a production or retail setting. Growers like them for two main reasons, according to Corey Von Rhames, commercial sales manager with High Caliper Growing Systems.

“They work and they last,” he says.

Made with heavy-duty polypropylene webbing, the Tree Collar bolts on to the cable with versatile stainless steel cable clamps. A rubber padding inside the polypropylene webbing further protects against trunk scarring.

This is an improvement from the system some growers use.

“Most people on a cable system are just tying the tree on somehow,” Von Rhames says. “Sometimes it’s wire running through a garden hose. A lot of times it’s just twine. With the collar, it’s securely attached to the cable and securely attached to the tree. Also, it protects the tree against any scarring or damage rubbing against the cable line or a tie itself.”

The Tree Collar fastens to the tree with both Velcro and a latch, which will not slip or accidentally come off. High Caliper claims the collars last 5-7 years but Von Rhames has talked to growers who have used them for upwards of 10 years.

There are several size options. Each is easy to adjust, open and close, which helps as the tree grows.

TF #1 Fits a 1” to 2” plant DBH (usually a 15 gallon)

TF #2 Fits a 2” to 3” plant DBH (usually a 20 to 30 gallon)

TF #3 Fits a 3” to 4” plant DBH (usually a 30 to 65 gallon)

TF #4 Fits a 4” to 6” plant DBH (usually a 100 gallon or larger)

Another problem-solving product from High Caliper is the Smart Pot® PRO. This above-ground fabric container for field growers has several advantages over traditional smooth-sided plastic containers. First, the soft-sided fabric aeration container air root prunes your plants for healthier roots and faster growing plants. It also leads to a denser root ball.

“The Smart Pot® PRO is a root-pruning fabric container with aeration so you do not get root circling,” Von Rhames says. “That gives you more leeway and flexibility with timing before you have to sell or ship the plants.”

Compared to plastic or box containers, the fabric of the Smart Pot® PRO releases heat much more effectively. Roots of plants grown in the Smart Pot® PRO are virtually at air temperature inside the container. That’s a marked contrast from plastic containers, in which the temperatures can rise to 125 degrees on a 100° day. That trapped heat creates dead zones for the roots, which won’t grow as well.

Lastly, as a straight-sided container with no taper, the Smart Pot® PRO is less susceptible to blow over. The fabric bottom contours to the ground, so they won’t wobble on uneven ground.

Some feeder roots even will bite through the fabric bottom to help anchor the plant. And if there is moisture or nutrients to be had from the ground, they have the ability to find it through that ground contact.

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