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Staking Trees

Large trees need to be staked if planted in windy locations.  We can supply, plant and stake trees of your choice.

Stakes and ties should be checked regularly to ensure that they are still fulfilling their functions.  Ties should be loosened as trees grow so that the growth of trees is not impeded by the force of stakes and ties.  Stakes should be removed once tree roots are firmly established in their new location.  This can take up to about 3 years for standard trees, but we should judge when stakes should be removed on a case by case basis. 

Stakes should be inert once they are hammered into the ground, otherwise they will not be fulfilling their function.  They should be at least 60cm deep.  Tree stakes should be inserted into the prevailing wind, so that the tree is blown away from the stake.  Positioning the stake in this position avoids the tree rubbing against the stake.  Another way to avoid rubbing is to insert spacers in between the stem and stake.

Stakes should be about one third of the height of the tree.  This allows the plant in question to thicken its stem whilst staying firmly in the ground.  Trees with long and flexible stems should be supported by long vertical stakes, however, the stake should be reduced in size by the second year so that the tree does not become too dependent on this support.  As tree planters we do not want to make trees dependent on the stake, but at the same time we want to avoid wind rock. 

Angled stakes are sometimes used.  These are hammered into the ground at an angle.  The advantage of inserting stakes at an angle is that the horticulturalist can avoid disturbing the roots of the tree by directing the stake away from the tree roots.  However, using angled stakes is not a good idea in amenity areas because people could trip over them. 

Double and Multiple Staking

It is necessary to use two or three stakes in windy locations.  Double staking is the standard method of supporting container-grown and root-balled trees.  Two stakes are positioned opposite to one another or three stakes are positioned at equal distances around the plant.  Long ties are used to hold the stem firmly in an upright position.  Alternatively a timber crossbar and tie can be used to hold the stem in place.  The stakes are set further away from the plant that single stakes.  This enables us to avoid disturbing the rootball.  

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