2014 - Volume #38, Issue #4, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Tree Trays Cut Costs, Speed Growth
“The main benefit is growth acceleration,” says Goren. “They surround the young trunk to catch moisture and create greenhouse conditions for the root system. The tray covers the ground, seals it from all sides, and protects the roots from extreme temperatures.”
The Tray-Tech plant trays were developed in Israel, birthplace of many of the water-saving technologies used in agriculture around the world.
“Christmas tree growers really benefit from the trays,” says Goren, North American distributor for Tray-Tech. “They can cut the normal 7 to 10-year time it takes to grow a Christmas tree by at least 2 to 3 years.”
Goren says the trays can also reduce loss of young seedlings. He points to use of the trays on small pine trees planted in an arid mountainous area in Israel. Seedling loss went from 36 percent to zero.
The 2 by 2 1/2-ft. plastic trays fit around the seedling stem. Edges seal tight to the ground shading out competitive grass and weed growth. The slope of the tray directs rainfall, irrigation water and even dew directly to the stem base and developing roots. The same slope on the underside gathers condensation and carries it to the stem.
Goren says the insulating effect of the plastic tray reduces plant shut down from heat and extends the growing season in cold areas. It also reduces potential for mid-winter thaw and refreeze damage.
Reflection of light from the trays back to the seedling is another reason for accelerated growth. It supports increased photosynthesis.
While the tray was developed for use in arid areas, Goren suggests that the water concentrating effect of its shape is beneficial in higher rainfall areas as well. “You don’t have the savings from reduced irrigation, but growth acceleration is maintained as more nutrients are available. With fruit trees, you get higher quality fruit,” he says.
Currently the trays sell for $4 to $5 each, depending on quantity ordered. Goren says the trays have a life expectancy of at least 10 years, but could last 15 to 20 if not abused.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Goren Trade Inc., 383 Oak Ave., River Edge, N.J. 07661 (ph 201 225-9297; cell ph 551 404- 8521; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.gorentradeinc.com).
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