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How long to keep trees staked?

FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
What's the general opinion?  Does it depend on the tree?  On the location?  Do you wait a certain amount of time or until the trunk is a certain diameter?

Posts

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    They tell you 2 or 3 years but I have a liquidamber silhouette which is stick thin and in a windy spot so the stake will stay there until it rots in the ground!
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,669
    That sounds about right @K67, 2-3 years, by which time the roots will have established. Often they are in small pots and top-heavy. Especially tall standards. I staked a quince, but it was fairly sturdy and probably didn’t need it. A new cherry was very tall and skinny and the instructions were to double stake, which I did. So long as you stake  against the prevailing wind and no more than two thirds up the clear trunk I feel it can’t do any harm. Then it has some give and sway, which it needs to learn to anchor itself. Multi-stemmed trees don’t need staking. Some say don’t stake at all, it encourages the tree to be too dependent, but most trees here would end up uprooted as my prevailing is pretty strong. 
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 631
    I planted a couple of trees last autumn. They were staked over the winter, but i've slackened the ties recently to allow them to sway in the breeze. If strong winds are forecast, i'll tighten them up again. I intend to do this until next summer.
    Sunny Dundee
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    Many grafted fruit trees require staking for life.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • SophieKSophieK Wimbledon, LondonPosts: 242
    2-3 years should be enough for the tree to get some good root grip, unless in an exposed / windy location.
    Mine are still young-ish with trunks no more than 10-12cm girth so I may keep the stakes until they're sturdier.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,669
    I was looking up something on Chris Bowers’ site and he says 5-6 years for his grafted fruit trees.
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