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  1. #1
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    Default How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    I helped my neighbor but in some balled and burlapped trees last fall and more this spring. They weren't just plunked in a small hole but dug out, filled halfway, flooded and filled correctly. I have done this before. The 12 ft red maple types done last fall have four 7 ft metal posts and tied good. The 7' spruces were done the same way with four smaller posts but tied tight. This spring we did some 8 ft flowering trees and more spruces plus aother 12 ft maple. All trees will be watered over the summer and have some fertilizer sprinkled on the gound just outside the drip edge.

    How long should I leave these trees staked? I recall hearing one growing season but does that mean wait until the spring winds of next year are over? Maybe June? Should I leave the spruces tied longer? Any ideas on this would be appreciated since I know staking too long can create problems. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    I've planted lots of tree's with my dad, he was a manager for a huge landscaper. By that I mean a company that put in golf courses, fields around schools etc. He planted thousands himself and ran jobs with thousands more. Some we dug by hand, others with the treespade he would bring home from work.

    We never staked an evergreen tree and we did some up to 8-9'. All others were on a case by case basis. If they were where the wind could get to them, 1 year. If they were shielded from the primary wind direction we did not. The theory being that the tree, roots and all get stronger from the natural sway from wind. The tallest I remember were probably 12-14' maple trees we put in his front yard.

    When he did stake any he used wire with garden hose. He would loop the wire around the tree and the post with some slack. Then take a stick and twist the wire around itself till it was as tight as he wanted. Then over time untwist it. Many trees he only staked with 1 stake on the windy side.

    The important thing is the root ball and the hole. The hole you don't want to make too much bigger than the ball because the loose soil will allow the tree to tip over. We usually went a couple inches bigger all the way around and little deeper than the ball. If a wire cage was used we would remove that, but leave the burlap and just cut away what we could once it was in the hole.

    All of the trees I helped him plant were around his house or family members.

    Here is a guide I found, many more.
    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%2...hs/Staking.pdf

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    I've taken the same approach to planting trees as JasG discussed-just make the hole big enough for the root ball, and keep it slightly high in th hole. Too deep, and the tree can't drain well in wet weather conditions. Too high, and they can't stay moist in dry weather. I've killed more trees by overwatering than by underwatering.

    Use plenty of mulch, but keep the mulch at least 6-8 inches away from the trunk. Also, I'm only staking the leaf trees, and then only for the first full year. The spruces/pines/cedars seem to do fine without staking, and I've only had one blow over.

    Fall still seems like the best time to plant, but I've also had poor results with end of season trees that seemed like a good deal but had been out of the ground for too long and couldn't handle the stress. So I'm not as hung up on spring planting as I used to be, especially since many nursuries will give you a one year warranty. And it sure is nice to see a tree where you wnat one.

    One thing I haven't tried that I hear about is setting up a barrel to drip irrigate young trees. Good luck with your landscaping.
    GGB

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  4. #4
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    Based on some studies done at Cornell U trees don't need to be staked unless they are in very windy areas.

    If they are staked, it should allow them to sway some and the ties should not be left on for more than one year.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    Thanks guys. The trees are indeed in a high wind area on the flat plains and wind is a real issue. The trees I planted last fall will get the strings loosened a little bit soon and I will likely remove some of them in maybe July or so. By then the ground will be tight and the trees pretty well packed in.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    Quote Originally Posted by sixdogs View Post
    Thanks guys. The trees are indeed in a high wind area on the flat plains and wind is a real issue. The trees I planted last fall will get the strings loosened a little bit soon and I will likely remove some of them in maybe July or so. By then the ground will be tight and the trees pretty well packed in.
    We've got about 10 trees staked at my place and we are definitely a high wind area. 30mph avg with 40-50mph gusts are the norm for summer. 60-80mph gusts are common during T-storms.

    These were staked and planted in Oct 2010 and I will be removing them this fall.

    I think the 1 year advice is prob about right for "normal" conditions.
    Hustler Fastrak SD 54"/25HP KAW

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    Think it's OK to loosen the ties a little at a time over the summer so they can start to sway in the wind?
    ******

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  8. #8
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long to leave B & B trees staked?

    Quote Originally Posted by sixdogs View Post
    Think it's OK to loosen the ties a little at a time over the summer so they can start to sway in the wind?
    Yes, many places now recommend the use of nylon so the trees can sway. If you stake them too long and then take the support away my understanding is the trees could snap off in high winds. The nylon will stretch and allow some sway.

    Even when the trees are 1st staked the need to be able to sway some. I believe that was the reason for my dad only using 1 stake when he used any. With the wire he would use, he would leave like a 1/2 gap between the trunk and hose covered wire. If he could he would loop in over the lowest limb on the tree to keep it from dropping. Or if need be (I will try and explain but it might not come out right) make the loop at the tree end so it has a 1/4" gap around the trunk. So when there is no wind and the tree is standing straight. the wire is actually leaning against the tree. When the wind would blow the tree could sway up to 1/2". With the wire being stiff it could not drop. He would also wrap the tree with a paper product I don't remever what it was, but I believe it was made for this reason due to I have seen other small trees wrapped with the same product. This would protect teh bark some from the hose and wire.
    Last edited by JasG; 03-31-2012 at 10:08 AM.

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