A question we get from time to time is about staking a tree or more specifically, should I remove the stake of a young tree? The answer is yes 99 percent of the time. In fact this post is more about why it is usually unnecessary to stake a tree.

Reasons to stake a tree usually are,

  • The stem bends when not supported
  • It is a very windy location
  • Protection in high traffic areas

If you need to stake your tree or if developers have staked it after planting, it needs to be removed as soon as the tree can support itself.

Removing Stakes from a Tree

Too often we see trees staked for far too long and end up like this.At this point the tree bracing is embedded in the bark so if we could remove it ( a big if in this case) we’d have to remove so much bark that insects would just enter and kill it off.And really this tree is dead anyway.

Staking a tree is one of those noble techniques which cause more harm then good. This is also true of tree wrapping to prevent sun scald. Great idea but if you don’t remove the wrapping it attracts insects that cause more damage then the condition you were trying to prevent in the first place.

Staking a Tree Can Damage the Tree

Drive around a new housing development or if you’ve just moved into one, you’ll see a lot of young trees that are staked. If it’s been a couple of years, you can remove it.

If you are thinking of staking a newly planted tree, please refer to the reasons above. Usually a young tree can support itself just fine.