Best Way To Stake a Tree: Tips and Tricks

Newly planted trees often require physical support before fully standing on their own. Staking helps support, anchor, and protect fresh trees. Staking a tree prevents wind rock and movement that can tear the roots of a young tree, resulting in delayed root establishment.

Most young trees can stand unsupported, and they have better stability. The tree’s movement caused by the wind signals the tree to increase its trunk girth and speeds up root growth, thus increasing stability. However, in areas prone to strong winds, staking comes in handy to prevent the bending of the young tree trunk.

Why Stake a Tree?

Stakes act as barriers to protect your young tree from Frisbees, lawnmowers, and other mobile objects, including pets and people. Proper staking helps your tree stand as its root systems establish themselves, especially if it has a small number of roots. Staking also helps a tree whose trunk is stubbornly leaning to stand straight. 

New trees planted on sandy soils most likely require staking to avoid uprooting in case of heavy wind. Trees with small root balls and a dense crown of leaves often need staking. If your young tree’s branches hang at an unpleasant angle, you can get additional support for tree cabling and bracing service in Springfield by G&V.

Some tree species are more susceptible to wind damage because of their growth habit; they include acacias, mesquite hybrids, conifers, and eucalyptus trees.

How Long Should You Stake?

Your staked tree needs some time before it can stand on its own, but you should limit the support to prevent it from becoming dependent on the stakes and ties. It normally takes a full growing season (or a year) to establish a tree’s roots and achieve a sturdy trunk. For instance, you would remove them in spring if you planted stakes in fall.

Avoid staking a tree and forgetting about it since some of the materials you use, especially wires, can wrap and damage a trunk. Lengthy staking also leads to poor trunk growth and a smaller diameter for your tree.

Tool and Materials for Staking

You will need a few five- to six-foot metal or wooden stakes and a hammer or shovel to push in the stakes. You can apply different methods to stake your tree with one, two, or three stakes.

The other requirement is the material to tie the stakes to your tree, and it plays the most important role in the process. Please avoid rope or wire since they can damage the tree. Opt for soft, flexible material like canvas webbing or cloth.

How To Stake a Tree

1.  Place the stakes

For two stakes, place them on opposite sides of the tree, about 18 inches from the base. Using a hammer or the back of a shovel, pound the stakes about 18 inches into a planting hole. For three stakes, form a triangle around the tree and follow the same steps.

2.  Tie the tree

A tight strap can damage the bark of your tree and affect its growth. Tie your straps loosely to the trunk, about two-thirds from the ground. Tying straps loosely allows the tree some movement when the wind blows so that the roots can grow stronger. 

3.  Tie the stakes

Tie the second end of the straps to the stakes above their halfway point. The knot around the stake should be tight. For safety in areas with heavy foot traffic, tie the strap high on the stake to prevent tripping.

Professional Tree Care Services in Virginia

With good care, your new trees can bring beauty to your property to last for generations. If you wish to learn how to plan for tree planting and get quality services for your trees, contact the tree experts at G&V in Virginia at 703-569-2570.