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Video:How to Stake a Tree

with Amanda Switzer

Protecting a new or young tree by staking it enables it to grow the strong root system it needs to secure itself in the ground. Learn how to stake a tree.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Stake a Tree

Hi, I'm Amanda Switzer for About.com Home.

Why Stake a Tree?

Newly-planted trees and shrubs can be susceptible to falling over in heavy winds. In the past, it was a widely acceptable practice to add additional support by staking. Many arborists now feel that staking creates a false sense of security by allowing the trees or shrubs to believe that they have grown an adequate root system.

This is true to a certain extent, but I have seen many trees and shrubs laying on the ground in my business, and the only way to prevent this is to stake the trees. There are ways to stake where you can encourage the trees and shrubs to develop anchoring roots. Here we are going to stake this cherry tree and give it some help standing through the first year of its life in its new home.

What You Need to Stake a Tree

Before we can stake our tree we are going to need some essential supplies. Depending on the size of the tree, we will need:
  • wooden or metal stakes (for this tree, I purchased some 6-footers)
  • I am also going to need some wire
  • I also will need a section of old hose, or I can buy foam-type protectors (sold at hardware stores or nurseries)
  • it helps to have a wire cutter (but if you do not, you can use an old pair of pruners)
  • the last thing you will need is a sledge slammer (for driving the stakes into the ground)

Setting Stakes in the Ground

Now that we have all of our materials, we can start our project. First we will drive out stakes into the ground. Look around the tree and see where you have access and where there are crotches at the right angles for grabbing the wire later. Now it's time to set in all the stakes.

Setting Wire to Stake a Tree

Once all the stakes are about two feet in the ground, we can measure out the wire, and cut some pieces of hose at about 12 inches. We will make sure we leave enough wire so it's long enough to tie it off. Once the wire is secured at one end, we will slide the section of hose over the wire and set it in the crotch of the branch.

Now we will take the remaining end of the wire, wrap it around the stake a few times, and then tie a haywire knot using the two ends of the wire. We will do the same for the two other stakes.

Secure the Tree

In some cases you might want to use only two stakes, or in others, as many as four. When you stake you do not want to make the connections too tight, because this will give the tree a false sense of security and will hamper important root growth that stabilizes the tree.

When to Remove Tree Stakes

After a year, you should remove the stakes. Try removing the stakes after the cold season. The tree should spend the second growing season filling in the supporting root system, giving it an anchor for life.

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