Tree stakes and ties

trees, stakes, small, gardens, ties, support

Small tree with adjustable tie

We are all feeling a bit battered by the recent strong winds here in Ireland.  Spare a thought then for your garden trees, some of which will have felt the worst effects of the wind with branches lost or, worse still, their central leaders (main stems) having snapped. Others may have had their roots torn out of the ground.

Good staking of young trees will help to avoid such unfortunate outcomes and will assist a tree through its early establishment years.

Although I have written on this before, here’s a quick bullet point recap on what I think are the main considerations when staking trees (of any sort) or indeed woody shrubs:

1) Stake all trees over 1m in height at the time of planting.

2) Generally, place the stake on the side from which the prevailing wind blows.

3) For bare-root trees guide the stake through the roots at the time of planting to avoid damage to the roots.  See below for root-balls and containerised trees.

4) Tie the tree to the stake in such a way that there is either a spacer or part of the tie separating the tree from the stake (this avoids damage to the bark).  Allow for a gap of 2cm or so between the tree and the stake.

5) Ensure that the tree is secure but ensure that the tie is not biting in to the bark

6) The stake will need to be approx. 60cm in to the ground for it to be secure.  It should also reach approx. one third of the way up the height of the trunk (above ground).  For tall, flexible trees a taller staked may be required initially but this should be reduced in height after the first or second year.

7) Adjust ties each year to allow for growth/expansion of the tree trunk.

8) Use a double stake and cross-bar method for root-balled or container-grown trees (see pic. below).  The stake can be lower because greater support is given by the additional stakes (the load is spread).

Double-stake and cross-bar method for securing a large root-balled tree

Double-stake and cross-bar method for securing a large root-balled tree

9) Leave support in place for up to 3 years after which the tree should have established enough anchoring roots to be self-supporting.  For large root-balled trees support may need to be left in place for even longer.

10) Under or over ground guying can be used for very large trees or where stakes are not desirable for visual reasons.  The tree is secured by wiring systems around the trunk for above ground guying or around the root-ball for below-ground guying.  Proprietary guying systems are available for this work or you can fashion your own, as long as you protect the tree from rubbing wire.

Overground guying of a large root-balled Lime tree.  Note rubber around trunk to prevent chafing.

Overground guying of a large root-balled Lime tree. Note rubber around trunk to prevent chafing

Your local garden centre will be able to supply stakes and ties appropriate to your needs.  They will be answer any detailed queries you may have… so go and support them, I am sure that they will be pleased with the business.  I also find Glanbia’s Country Life stores to be useful suppliers for all sorts of horticultural products.

I would be pleased to hear your comments on this post.  What are your experiences.  Do you have any additional tips and advice of your own?  Please comment below…




1 Comment
  • mustafa

    İ m interested too tree staking

    8th May 2013at2:12 pm

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