I recently visited a friends house and she had a question on tree staking. I’ve gone back and edited this post, first published four years ago.
Recently, as part of my work at a public garden, I planted several bareroot trees. The trees are doing quite well, but several were leaning, and not quite supporting themselves. This called for tree staking.
Tree staking is often incorrectly done. First of all, you only need to stake a tree if it needs it. Some of my trees would have toppled over or grown at forty five degree angles if I had done nothing to fix it. There were several other trees that I left. The trees were growing relatively straight and supporting themselves. No staking required, even though they were just barely planted.
There are also quite a few common mistakes made. First, the tree should be able to move around a bit. If it can move with the wind, it will grow a stronger, healthier trunk. Second, the material around the trunk should not rub and constrict the bark. With this in mine, I developed a cheap, easy method to stake a tree.
- Bike tube
I took the bike tube, and cut off about a six inch section, and then split it so it was no longer a tube. I then cut holes on either end, put it around the tree, and threaded the twine through. I placed the post opposite the lean or instability of the trees. Tie the twine on the post, and that’s all. I only did one post per tree, and it worked great. Two posts might be needed in windy areas.
Here’s a picture of how it looked when it was done:
You could use a fancier post or twine to make it look nicer. One last very important reminder: remove it in a year. I have tree die because people leave the staking on. This poor tree isn’t going to last long: