View Full Version : Staking trees

06-19-2002, 09:35 PM
I just planted a japanese maple, about 5ft tall. I would like to stake it in case of heavy winds. How would I go about this. I bought three wooden stakes yesterday, but how do I really do this task correctly?

06-19-2002, 09:56 PM
Make sure the stakes are good and strong,either of the methods below will hold it .

06-19-2002, 10:39 PM
Why do you think you need to stake a 5 foot japanese maple? A tree responds to the wind by adding trunk girth. A staked tree does not sway in the wind, therefore, the trunk does not add girth to stabilize the tree. A staked tree is a weak tree.

There is a condition where a transplanted tree's root ball rolls in the hole in strong winds. With this condition you drive stakes into the root ball to help anchor the root ball until the roots can grow.

If you must stake a tree because of high winds in the area, stake the tree as seen in big Jim's left picture. Use flexible straps so the tree can still sway in the wind but do not allow the tree to break. Good luck.


06-19-2002, 11:20 PM
I have been taught that you DO stake a tree ... it allows all the roots(fibre) to get established the first year without constantly tearing away in strong winds. After a year they come off.
We use wooden stakes on res. and metal on comm. ..wire and hose.

dan deutekom
06-20-2002, 09:21 PM
The latest that I have heard is to only stake if the tree has a loose rootball. The city has been planting trees without staking for several years now and it seems fine. They do not undo the rootballs untill they have been in one year. Personally I stake only when the tree is loose in the ball. If I do have to stake I stake very loosley. This allows the tree to sway with the wind and the wood in the trunk won't atrophe. Dr. Shygo has done studies on trees over the course of 40 years...has found trees that were tightly staked when young were the ones that suffered the most storm damage in the later years because the trunks couldn't sway in the wind because of atrophe of the wood.

robert payer
06-20-2002, 11:21 PM
Would have to agree with Lawn Student. Do not stake trees unless a problem starts. Never had to stake one yet. Yes in my opinion it will cause the tree to rely on that stake.

Very good thread started here. Only added my post in order to subscribe to this conversation. looking forward to a educational debate. Thank You dmk395!

It is the difference of opinion is what makes for a good horse race!

06-21-2002, 07:22 AM
If you feel like you have to stake it, three wooden stakes at 45 degrees one foot out of ground, 1/4" drip tubing to tie with halfway up.

06-21-2002, 09:18 AM
Worked with a women yesterday on a perennial garden install. I did the hardscape for her. She's been in the business since 1985. Has five seperate degrees including a hort. degree. Has had her own TV show here in the Chicago area on gardening. Has taught Master gardeners. Very well qualified. I asked her for her opinion on the staking of a 5 foot japenese maple. She said you can stake for the first year but that she does not like to stake a tree ever. She focuses on a good install of the root ball. Wedge a couple of good sized rocks to secure that ball in the hole or stake the ball was her comment. Good luck.


06-21-2002, 07:25 PM
"Wedge a couple of good sized rocks..."

This is coming from a master gardener????

robert payer
06-21-2002, 07:32 PM
Just learned something new and valuable here at Lawnsite. Stake the root ball in place! Three times with large transplants have they shifted. I have left heavy tampers temporary to support large transplants in place for a week or two until soil better settled into place.

Just a little tip on planting: Create a screen framed with 2 by 4 lumber that fits the top of your wheel barrow for filtering and sifting soil when digging and installing new plants. This will easily remove rock, catch much unwanted clay and will leave fine dirt to back fill with. Plants really do well with this method.

Experience is a hard teacher. It gives the test first and the lesson afterwards!

06-21-2002, 07:36 PM
I'll take advice from people that call themselves landscapers over those that call themselves gardeners if that is all the info I had.

"a mind is a terrible thing."

06-21-2002, 08:39 PM

While talking to the local representative for the Alabama Dept. of Agriculture, I was told that I needed to be a licsenced Aborist before I could stake any trees. The fine is $5000 if caught. this is INSANE! They are really beggining to crack down on unlicensed Landscapers in my area.

Although, I don't have a problem with them checking up on people, I do have a problem when they only check up on the people doing professional work. In nine years of doing landscape installs we have only had to replace less than one dozen shrubs and less than 6 hrs. of labor on call backs.

I had to take the PLCAA test just to be able to plant a shrub, what a joke. Test was this last Tues. I looked over the material briefly and know I pasted with flying colors. Why don't they crack down on the people doing shotty work. There are many people in my area doing work that is terrible. I didn't see any of them taking this so called "Test".

It just pisses me off that I have to pay some organization an annual fee just to do business. There is no way I will become a licensed aborist just to stake a tree when it needs to be done. The only other thing I do oriented with trees is plant them and cut up the dead ones that fall.

Sorry, Just had to vent.

robert payer
06-21-2002, 09:25 PM
Wow! Does any one know if this applies in Ohio? This might answer our question mighty fast. Just don't stake it! Always follow the rules. I know of a guy here in town who is a licensed applicator and got busted for applying herbicides while wearing shorts, no gloves and no boots. He had been fined for $20,000
Expensive mistake! His health would be even more valuable!