Staking trees

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by dmk395, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    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?
  2. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Make sure the stakes are good and strong,either of the methods below will hold it .

    stake tree.jpg
  3. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    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.

  4. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    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.
  5. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    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.
  6. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    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!
  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    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.
  8. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    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.

  9. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    "Wedge a couple of good sized rocks..."

    This is coming from a master gardener????
  10. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    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!

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