I’ve proven that soooo much this year. I put out 3 very large fig trees that were in 1/2 55 gallon drums- now that is a HUGE POT. THey had been in those half-drums about 4 years and sort of stalled out and I was sick of moving those giant things in and out each fall and spring. So I planted them in-ground this spring. They leafed out but have put on almost no new stem growth/height at the tips. I also planted out 3 fig plants that I rooted last summer so they have only been in a pot since last fall. When I put them in the ground the same day as my big figs, they took off like crazy. They are now almost as tall as the 4 year old figs.
This is my typical long winded way of saying you are absolutely right…young trees do much better . Oh, I also ordered a bunch of bare root trees from Vaughns this year. Vaughns is known for very small trees and mine were indeed tiny and I was a bit worried. But again, they took off like crazy and now most are every bit as large as bare root trees from other vendors that arrive much larger. Yep, young trees are great.