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Prunus Amanogawa- when to remove the planting stake?

Hi everyone, 1 month ago I planted X6 of the above, hoping to eventually create a kind of avenue. They are all staked at the moment. I have to questions:
1) When should I remove the stake
2) How do I train it to remain Columnar?
I am a new gardener so any help would be gratefully received
Thank you


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    I don't know about when to remove the stakes, but I had one for many years.
    It got to about 20ft and needed no pruning to retain its very columnar habit - they grow that way without any help.
    Occasionally a small shoot would appear a bit too low, which I just pruned off. Other than that it just reached for the skies all by itself.
    It had to come down when I widened my drive, otherwise I would have kept it

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,380
    On newly planted trees, I would keep them staked for the first year, while their roots are getting established. Are the stakes tall and vertical or shorter and at an angle? As Pete says 'Amanogawa' is a columnar tree which doesn't usually need any pruning. Like all cherries, only prune in the summer months to avoid silver leaf disease.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Thanks both for your helpful replies. Lizzie27 the stakes are vertical and they are held by rubber ties. I am worried the rubber ties might impede the branches
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,299
    Can you post a photo, @Mushroommike?  Then we can advise you better.   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,423
    Check the ties regularly and adjust them as the trees grow so that they don't get too tight as the trunks thicken up.  The ties should ideally be just around the main trunk/stem, not around the branches as well, so they shouldn't affect the branches.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    Hi Mike
    I think you may need to move the ties lower down.
    The idea with ties/stakes, as i understand it, is to keep the base of the tree still to allow the roots to take hold and at the same time allow the branches to blow in the wind and strengthen them.
    Without the stake/tie, the whole tree will blow about in the winds and keep breaking new roots soon as they form, which will harm it.
    After a year or so the roots will have a firm grip on their new surroundings and the stake can be removed.
    You may get some damage to the branches as they rub together with the ties at the current height.
    I've only planted a few trees, so am no expert - see what others think

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,299
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for posting the photos.

    What you have there are virtually multi-stemmed trees, in my opinion.  If you google "planting a multi-stemmed tree", you'll be told they don't need staking.  I think this is because a "standard" tree, with a bare stem and branches coming from the top, is much more top heavy than what you've planted, and provides more wind resistance at the top so it's more likely to loosen in strong winds.  As Pete says, with the tie at the height it currently is, in strong winds you may have damage to the branches since they're all fastened together.  You can't attach the tie to the main stem because there isn't one at that height.

    It seems to me your options are as follows:  use the stakes in their current position, hammering them into the ground as far as you can so there's no movement on them at all, then fasten the tie to the bottom few inches of the trunk below the bottom branches, and saw off the top of the stake just above the tie, so it doesn't interfere with the branch movement.  OR:  saw off the stake just above ground level, and hammer in a second short stake on the other side of the root ball.  Attach a short piece of timber  across the top of the rootball, screwed into each stake.  Hard to describe but there's a diagram of it here (fig.2):
    Either of these methods will stabilise the rootball but let the branches move.   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • I agree with Pete.8.  Those trees have very short main trunks, which is where a tie would normally be put.  I think I would move the tie down to about the green arrow and then cut the stake off at the red arrow, as there is no need for a stake that size when putting the tree tie lower.  The aim is to stop the roots moving due to 'wind rock':

    The stake should only be needed for a couple of years and can then be removed.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks everybody for your helpful comments. I was sold these trees as 'feathered' which I was told would be a columnar tree , tall but narrow. I was a bit surprised that they so many low branches but they are all growing vertically so I'm hoping will be ok.

    I will move the ties down and strengthen the stakes.

    Thanks again
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