How to stake trees
There are a number of different staking methods, depending on the type of tree, tree size and method of planting.
All stakes should penetrate the soil to at least 60cm (2ft) deep. If the stake moves in the ground, it will not anchor the plant.
This is the standard method for staking bare-root trees, with the stake inserted before planting.
- For most trees: the stake should be one-third of the height of the tree. This anchors the roots and allows the stem to sway and thicken
- For tress with long or flexible stems: use long, vertical stake, cutting it lower in the second year. There should be a gap of 2.5-3cm (about an inch) between the stem and the stake
Stakes should be inserted on the side of the prevailing wind so that the tree is blown away from the stake.
This is the standard method of staking container-grown and rootballed trees. Two or three stakes can be inserted opposite each other, or equally spaced around the tree outside the root ball, and secured to the trunk by long ties or a timber crossbar and tie. This method is also useful on windy sites.
An angled stake is used for trees planted on slopes. Drive a stake in before or after planting at a 45 degree angle, leaning into the prevailing wind. Secure with a flexible tree tie.
Guying is particularly useful for large trees when transplanted. Secure strong wire to low stakes inserted at a 45 degree angle away from the tree. Prevent rubbing by covering the wire with rubber hosepipe where it is wrapped around the stem or branches of the tree.