Follow up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Staking

Staking is an “as needed” procedure, generally not automatically recommended for tree planting for two reasons.  The most obvious is that it takes time and costs money for the materials.  Secondly, it is highly desirable for new trees to develop a strong network of lateral roots, which can be limited by staking.


Even though not a good routine step, if the site is a windy exposure, staking may prevent new trees from being blown over in the planting hole.  Additionally, if the tree’s root system is going to be limited, such as in a street planting, staking should be considered.  In any event, be sure to tie the stake loosely so that it can sway three inches or so from side to side.  Wide bands much preferred over narrow ones, even if buffered by lengths of garden hose.    Stakes should be removed after one growing season.  Extensive and even fatal damage can occur if they are left on for a longer time.


John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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