It's an old adage among long-time tree tube users: Even the best tube (which is, in our humble opinion, the Tubex Combitube Treeshelter) is only as good as the stake that holds it up.
And after years of experimenting with different stakes we have finally found the perfect tree tube stake: 1/2" PVC. Here's why:
1. Can be driven into any soil (although in tough soils you might need to use a 1" diameter rigid pvc "driving collar" to keep the 1/2" pvc stake from vibrating while driving it - you can cut the driving collar to the perfect length for driving the tree tube stake.
2. Won't rot - stake failure, even with generally decay resistant types of wood - is the number 1 reason for tree tube failure. PVC stakes will last long enough to get the job done, and can be reused time and time again.
3. Light weight for transporting and shipping
4. Flexible but resilient - every fall you get some bucks rubbing their antlers against tree tubes. Wooden or bamboo stakes can break off at the ground line with too much pressure and pushing. PVC stakes flex to absorb the blow, and spring back to vertical.
5. Better tree growth - PVC stakes flex and sway in the wind, duplicating the motion trees would experience if grown in the open (but without the moisture stress and danger of getting eaten!). That swaying motion "tells" the tree to thicken its stem, so trees grown in tubes with pvc stakes have thicker stems when they emerge from the tubes, and take less time to become self supporting.