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How to stake a tree

By: Garden Gate staff
Now's the perfect time to plant new trees. Trees need time to develop strong roots to feed themselves and anchor into the soil.

how to stake a tree

Now’s the perfect time to plant new trees. Trees need time to develop strong roots to feed themselves and anchor into the soil. Staking helps if it’s done right. Stake a young tree if it has poor or limited root development or a broad canopy that could whip in the wind and rip newly developing roots.

A couple of 1 1/2- to 2-in.-diameter wood or metal fence stakes work fine. Drive them into the ground outside the root ball to keep from damaging it. Wrap soft, stretchy tree tape, available at garden supply stores, in a figure-8 around the trunk just below the point where the first branches emerge. Tie one to each stake. It will stabilize the tree but allow enough movement to stimulate rooting.

Most important, don’t ignore the tree. Check it for new growth frequently for a few weeks after planting, and then at least every three months. Remove the wrapping and stakes after a year. A well-rooted tree will be firmly anchored in the ground by then.

Published: March 22, 2011
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