Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!

The garden has been battered by near gale force winds for the past twenty- four hours. The blossom has been stripped from the trees, foliage has been flattened and debris lies scattered across the garden.

I am residing indoors nursing my cold; doing some garden design sketches, at least. Nonetheless, I have not been able to avoid making a couple of trips to the community garden/allotments, where I am supervising a man with a digger. So, I have felt the full force of the wind on my face and this has reminded me of the importance of staking newly planted trees.

As a landscape architect, I have detailed staking specifications at my disposal, devised and improved over the years. These specify: the selection of stakes and method of staking which varies according to the size of the tree, type of root system – bare-root, root-balled or containerised, and the number of stems, adjustment and removal times.  It is preferable to fit the stake(s) and tie on the side from which the prevailing wind blows, too.

staking trees in the garden, stakes, ties,

Staked 120-150 cm height Alder tree

I recommend staking any tree that is greater than 1m in height and even trees smaller than that (known as whips and transplants) would benefit from a small stake and tie or even a cane. If you have planted small quantities this is worth the effort; for large quantities, this can be price prohibitive.

Remember, as soon as the wind dies down, head out with gusto and check your stakes and ties for loosening or damage and re-set, as required. Obviously, stake any trees you forgot to do or had not time to do before the storm started, as there will be another windy day. Upright and re-firm with your heel any small whip-sized trees that are heavily leaning.

Finally, for any trees or plants that are in containers and have blown over, for goodness sake, don’t keep up-righting them, as every time they blow over damage is being done to the foliage. Leave them down, but secure; that’s what the plant nurseries do.

Note: removal of stakes and ties as early as possible in a tree’s life is also a good idea. More on that another time.

No Comments

Post a Comment