Forum home Problem solving

Hawthorn root rock

image Am I using the wrong tree stake? It has moved and its pulling down on the tree. I phoned the tree nursery where I bought it from but they were of little help. It's so windy today. I planted it in march and I'm worried I'm killing it..



  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    first of all remove the cane, it's doing nothing for the tree and is unnecessary.

    then make sure the stake is firmly in the ground (45 degrees is correct), you might have to bang it into the ground more than you think,

    then make sure the stake is attached firmly (but not constricting) to the tree no more than 1/3 of the way up the tree (too high can be problematic for the tree) - this need to be check regularly to stop trunk bark damage.

    Also make sure the point at which the tree tie joins is at the stake side, not the tree side as that can also rub and damage bark.

    you can also chop off the stake above the tree tie (about 3-4 inches above) as this will stop you smacking your knees off it when moving around your garden weeding (experience talking here)

    although to be honest for a tree that size I wouldn't even bother staking it unless it was in a really exposed situation, I'd just bang some bamboo through the root ball in three places at a 45 degree angle and cut off just above ground level.

    Last edited: 06 June 2017 14:34:01

  • Thankyou for replying, I live on the brow of a hill and it's extreme windy today so I would sa y it is quite exposed. Does it make a difference what way the tree stake is leaning? I've got it kind of leaning away from the usual wind direction

  • The tree is also quite top heavy

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    I've rotated the photo for you, below.  The tree is leaning at an angle, so you need to remove the existing tree-tie and re-tie it lower, at the point I've put a green line.  If you can get someone to help you bend the tree back to an upright position, you can use the tree-tie to help keep it upright.  As treehugger said, get rid of the cane.  If you can't easily straighten the tree or think you could break it, I would wait until it has lost its leaves at the end of autumn, dig it up and re-plant it vertically.


    Last edited: 06 June 2017 14:57:38

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thankyou, I've knocked (I think!) the stake further in to the ground and tied it lower down. How fast can trees die ? Im really worried about it.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,399

    Why would it die? 

    It's a bit wonky but that won't kill it. Replant it vertically and re-stake in Autumn after the leaves have gone.

  • Because the roots are being rocked around? It's my first tree

  • TopsoiledTopsoiled Posts: 113

    Stake should be pointing into the prevailing wind.

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    if its got a root ball on it then it will be fine, even if it was bare rooted when planted there's a 95% it will be fine, it take a lot to kill a tree that size.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,024

    You've probably heard about avoiding 'root rock' .......... this is because in the winter if the roots move around in the soil air pockets are created which  fill up with water and then freeze solid and this can damage the roots of some plants.  This is why we cut buddleja half-way back in the autumn so it doesn't catch the winter winds so much.

    However, hawthorns are tough as old boots ... they cope in the worst winds and survive ... some even develop wonderful sculptural forms after years and years in  the teeth of wind coming from one direction image

    Don't worry, yours won't end up like that image  

    Just do as has been suggested by the others above and it'll be fine.

    Congratulations on your choice of a wonderful wildlife friendly native tree ... image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

Sign In or Register to comment.