Staking and Guying Trees

Not all trees require staking and guying at the time of tree planting.  In fact, trees that have not been staked and guyed develop stronger root systems and increased trunk taper development. However,   depending on site conditions (e.g. exposed to prevailing winds in an open area) and the existing tree structure and form (e.g. grafted standard that is top heavy) sometimes additional support is required for the newly planted tree.

Typically two stakes are used with flexible ties.  Unless wide tie straps are used, there should be a method of cushioning guying ties from injuring the tree trunk. The ties should be adjusted to allow for gentle flex of the tree.

Ideally tree stakes and guys should be removed after 1 growing season. Prolonging the removal of these artificial support systems can delay in the structural development of the tree’s anchorage and stability.  

Irreversible tree damage can occur if stakes and guys are forgotten and left permanently on the tree.  Often the wire or the ties become embedded into trunk thereby girdling the trunk and sometimes even killing the tree.  

               

Guying wire embedded into trunk.                                   Planting stake that was never removed.