From a customer in Wisconsin, who planted northern red oak seedlings in tree tubes in spring 2013:
We love them (the trees and tubes)!
We planted 50 red oak, about 24″ tall on Memorial Day.
Most are 3′ – 4′ tall now. A few have cleared the tops of the 5′ tubes!
The customer said she had some problems driving the 5ft pvc (1/2″ schedule 40 electrical conduit) stakes into the ground – it was like trying to pound a noodle into the ground. (Once driven into the soil the stakes, as always, have performed great!)
Here’s a tip that makes driving pvc stakes into the soil a breeze: Cut a length of 1″ conduit or pipe to a length that is 1ft shorter than the stakes you are driving (3ft to go with 4ft stakes, 4ft to go with 5ft stakes). This will be your “driving collar.” Slide the driving collar down over the stake until both are flush with the ground. Hold the driving collar with one hand while pounding the pvc stake. The driving collar will eliminate all of the wiggle in the pvc stake and channel it straight down into the soil. It works great! Here’s a diagram: