Laidback Garden Tip of the Day

Do You Really Need to Stake a Tree?

octobre 3The tradition has it that it is important to stake all newly-planted trees and conifers to keep them upright, but in reality, staking a tree is not particularly good for it. A tree trunk needs to move in the wind, because that is what allows it to develop normally. In fact, it is the movement of the trunk in the wind that makes it become thick and sturdy (regularly swaying back and forth causes tiny injuries that fill with more solid tissues, giving a thicker and stronger trunk). A trunk that does not move or does not move enough will remain thin and weak and may actually snap when the stake is removed. So reserve staking for special situations where either the young tree really doesn’t seem strong enough to stand on its own or spots that are extremely windy. And even then, stake quite loosely (not like in the illustration) so the trunk can still move a bit… and remove the stake after a year at most. In most cases, though, it really isn’t necessary to stake a young tree.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

2 comments on “Laidback Garden Tip of the Day

  1. Interesting. So it’s like bones and muscle in the human body. Don’t use them and lose ‘um. Never thought of it that way but it follows a logical path.

    • Excellent allusion. And you’ll find that – as illogical as that may seem – trees exposed to wind on a regular basis will have the strongest trunk of all.

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: