Lately there have been mixed opinions on whether you should stake a tree or shrub or just plant it. Research has discovered that staking does not help as much as they once thought.
I still stake my trees and shrubs for one year. I think it helps in high wind areas to make sure the top feeder roots do not break and it helps everyone to get used to a new plant in the yard. Small animals tend to stay away from a stked tree, particularly if you add cloth strips. And the notorius mower will not claim as many trees if the plant is staked.
How to Stake a tree or shrub
You can purchase wooden or metal stakes that are about 1/3 the height of your tree. You may also have useable posts around your home. You will want to make sure two foot of the stake is sunk into the ground.
Place the stakes into either side of the hole before you set in the tree. This will stop the tree from getting the roots damaged which could happen if you place the stakes in the ground after the tree in planted.
You will want to secure the tree to the stakes with soft straps or lengths of hose. Wire and rope will rub the tree trunk and could even cut into the truck and cause permanent damage and disease.
Make sure you fasten the straps tightly to the stakes but loosely to the tree. The rule is that there should be enough slack so that the tree can move up to 2 inches in every direction. If the trunk can’t move, it won’t grow in circumference and will remain unstable. What you are trying to do when staking a tree is to offer is some support while the roots are adapting to its new home.
Remember to remove the stakes and ties within a year after planting.
Tips: When you plant a new tree or a shrub make sure to water it deeply so that the roots are encouraged to grow downward. You will have a stronger plant in years to come.
Check out my article on how to plant a tree; http://thegardenersrake.com/how-to-plant-a-tree-add-beauty-to-your-yard
Happy Earth day! Denise
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