Staking Your New Sapling

Fall is Officially Here!
You bought a new tree… now what? Recently we talked about transferring container-grown plants to your garden outside. Adding a new tree outside is easy too, and this is the best time of year to do it!

Your tree might need to be supported to allow it’s root ball to become a root system and ultimately support itself. Trees that are top heavy or delicate and trees that are planted in a windy or high foot traffic area will need to be supported using stakes for a short period of time. To do this you will need:

  • 1-3 garden stakes
  • a mallet
  • a few yards of twine

Trees that are less than 3 inches in diameter need 1 stake while trees with wider trunks will need 2-3 stakes (about 4.5 ft tall).

  1. You will need to drive the stakes into the ground 1.5 feet away from the base of the tree and 12-18 inches deep. Stakes should be at least 3 ft above ground so no one trips or falls over them.
  2. Tie the twine about 1/2 to 2/3 way up the trunk. It is important to not tie the twine too tightly. This allows the tree to move slightly and become strong. It also gives a smooth path for water and nutrients to travel.

You’re probably wondering when to remove the stake. You can test this by moving the trunk. If you don’t see any movement of the root ball, then your tree doesn’t need the stake(s) anymore!

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