5 year old buck +
Curious why you would want to cut the tubes down 2 feet when you cage them? Do you want your lowest branches only 2-3 feet above ground level? Also, the lower your tube, the more the small tree will be able to lean over to the side of the cage where the deer will be able to browse the top of the tree.I have planted a fair amount of oak the last few years. My property has a good supply of native red oaks, especially young ones. I'm adding the accessories. 26 months ago I planted 30 size 25 burr oak plugs from Itasca greenhouse and tubed most of them. Also have a few schuttes, about dozen burr oak gamble, maybe 20 swamp white oak. My burr oaks planted 2 years ago are growing like crazy. 75% of them are right at the top of the tube. A few overachievers are already out and look really good. They have a weed mat, mulch, and fertilizer. They went through major drought last year with no watering. This year they are pissed off and taking revenge. I injected a little fertilizer into the soil about 3 weeks ago. They look very happy and healthy. Wanna cut the tube down 2 feet and slip a cage on a few of these.
I used to remove the tree altogether when I caged my oaks but the spindly stems could not adequately support the top of the tree and they would lean over and rbt against the cage - damaging the top of the tree. In recent years I have started leaving the tubes on the trees even after I cage them to minimize this. I also want my lowest branches at least 4-6 feet above ground level.