Gardening Staking plants Trees

Tree Stakes Should Always Be Temporary!

novembre 24
These stakes have been in place far too long and the straps are digging into the bark. Remove them without delay if you want to save the tree! Source:

Many gardeners like to stake trees when planting them to ensure that the trunk remains upright. That’s fine, but … the stake has to be removed as soon as the tree is well established in its new location, normally 12 months later, at most after two years. If not removed, the trunk will not develop normally. That’s because moving in the wind actually thickens the trunk and makes it stronger. A staked trunk can’t move correctly and will remain thin and subject to breakage.

You also have to remove the strap used to attach the tree to its stake. I stress this, because too often I see people remove the stake, but leave the strap in place. If left on the tree, it will eventually eat into the bark, as the trunk thickens over time. This will eventually strangle the tree (this is called girdling), preventing the sap from flowing. So remove it when you remove the stake … usually one year after you plant the tree.

Do note there is no special season for removing stakes. Do it whenever the tree seems solidly rooted.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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