Staking trees should be avoided whenever possible because it promotes poor development as well as can create potential for leaving stake wires on the trunk too long which can girdle the tree and cause it to die prematurely. However, if staking while planting trees is absolutely necessary in a high-wind area, and you are committed to removing those stakes and wires a year later, there is a right way to stake a tree.
Don’t Stake to Tightly
Make sure to leave enough slack in your wires that the trunk can have some movement in the wind.
Don’t Put the Stakes Through the Root Ball
Last thing you want to do is to disturb that young root system. Plus, it’s easier to drive the stake through soil than woody roots.
Use the Right Materials
Use galvanized wire along with garden hose pieces. Other strapping techniques may allow for wider materials to wrap around trunk areas, versus wire.
Position the Stakes and Fasteners at the Correct Positioning
Refer to the picture to see how and where to locate stakes and fastening wires, etc. Be sure the angles of wires are similar to the diagram.
Take them off Next Year
Again, we can’t stress enough that you should remove stakes and supports after 1 year. Do something to make yourself remember, or leave yourself a reminder somewhere. It’s amazing how often people forget to remove these things.
If you are hiring a landscape contractor to install trees for you on your property, make sure they understand the best practices for staking trees along with situations that don’t warrant it. For more information about staking trees. Refer to this publication from Penn State University. If you’d like to talk to us about planting trees on your property, we’d love to talk to you.