I'm putting Plantra grow tubes around my trees, as I am working hard to ensure they have the best opportunity to make it. These aren't really for reforestation as much as for dedicated plantings for my pastures. Primarily along fences and roads. I bought row crop ground 4 years ago, and have been trying to get it back into pasture and want to add trees in certain locations. We have some deer, and I suspect they will browse given something to go after, so I am adding the grow tubes along with 3x3 weed mats which will be mulched. I'll be watering them for a couple years as well, so I want to clear away the sod and form a small basin.
I appreciate the thoughts on the dribble bar, however. If I was planting more for forestry... that would be my plan.
Our tree plantings use the protection tubes to save the seedlings from deers. They stay on for the first few years until the trees are 6 ft or so to give them the best chance for survival. We have about 90 percent survival rate on our plantings. The evergreens seedlings don't use tree shelters but they have a lower survival rate. The cypress trees do the best and the Pines not so much. The bears did a lot of damage last year to the tree shelters looking for honey
The dibble mention was for reference vs larger 'spade', say for seedlings we buy in bundles of 50 from the extension service, not for anything more than knee high or for this job. 2-2 transplants, thigh-highs, and larger get the full treatment.
I've used chicken wire to equate to tubes, get 30 or so from a 100' roll. This is usually on a job of 50 or less seedling vs saplings Cedars are the heartbreak of DIYs. If you live near a golf course or where deer traffic is prolific expect any Christmas tree sized cedars to be 'hat racked' by deer.