Staking Trees at time of Planting

I have the opportunity to edit a state regulation publication with regards to trees. I want to remove all language that makes staking trees a requirement and change to make it optional. My belief/experience is that if planted properly (watered in during the planting process) trees don't need to be staked unless they're installed in an area with excessive winds.

What do you guys think? Is staking a necessary requirement, say for example, on large planting projects (20 trees or more)?
 

VenasNursery

Active Member
I have the opportunity to edit a state regulation publication with regards to trees. I want to remove all language that makes staking trees a requirement and change to make it optional. My belief/experience is that if planted properly (watered in during the planting process) trees don't need to be staked unless they're installed in an area with excessive winds.

What do you guys think? Is staking a necessary requirement, say for example, on large planting projects (20 trees or more)?
Too many factors to answer that question? (what size of tree -type of tree-root ball condition-type of soil condition where it’s being planted and type of soil the root ball consists of- windy environment example open field or on a birm) just my opinion
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
B&B stay upright well but surface area vs. wind is a concern.

Bare root and container certainly more prone to wind throw.

Loose ties is lost on many who install trees, often tight as a drum which can girdle as well as inhibit root growth and taper. Movement improves rooting and taper!
 
Almost all of the trees are B&B in the 2-3" caliper range with soil conditions ranging from heavy clay to loam. Wind speeds vary around the state (Iowa)
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
I am not an expert ...........
I would not hesitate to stake new plants ...................... for an appropriate time period.

Back in ~ 1973 I learned of studies showing that un-staked plants grow better, stronger root systems if they were exposed to un-staked, strong wind conditions.

Stake .......... and then remove ASAP.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Some loose ties on the windward side for a few months wouldn't be the end of the world but wind is the variable.

Maybe a Should based on site conditions rather than a Shall.
 

*useless info*

Well-Known Member
Stakes as limiters, not supporters.
>>stake connection, slack to trees
>>elastic response from stakes and/or connections so no jerk response from limiter function.
.
Darwin mite even thin more,but i think this is best attack to start from>>or at least look into.
>>Just dial in amount of slack, elasticity etc.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Agreed with what other have said..

How long?
How tight?
Who is monitoring?

to me staking is situational, used infrequently.

Stakes can make for barriers protecting the tree as well. Think car doors, bikes, deer, etc
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
Easy answer to "should staking be required?"

Absolutely not.

There are times it is necessary or beneficial. But others where it is not. Do you have the ANSI A300 Part 6 and accompanying Best Management Practices?
 
Had, is more like it. I just moved back to Iowa and in my rush to get back (long story), I left my copies at my old job. I have, however just rectified that situation. Thanks for reminding me to reference those!
 

CanadianStan

Well-Known Member
WHERE are the trees being planted? Around my city, staking is often used as protection against vehicles / and their doors, just as much as it's used for a physical support for tree.
For once I understood - and agree - with Useless Info. Stakes should be considered as a limiter in that they prevent failure, but they shouldn't be providing support under day to day conditions. You only want to prevent failure at extremes
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Yeah a biodegradable rootball "staple" is pretty doable
Not only "doable" but allows the trunk of the establishing tree to respond to wind loads and develop better taper. The tree also has the aesthetic appearance from even a short distance, of already being established. When you add in the ease of installation, and the fact that you don't need to follow up to remove the system......it's a clear winner.
 
WHERE are the trees being planted? Stakes should be considered as a limiter in that they prevent failure, but they shouldn't be providing support under day to day conditions. You only want to prevent failure at extremes
They could be planted just about anywhere in public spaces. And I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence. Hence my wanting to change the language to make staking optional, NOT required, as the current language states. Here is a link to the page describing the specification manual itself, for any inquiring minds

https://iowasudas.org/manuals/specifications-manual/
 
So then this begs the question about planting practices. Do you guys know what "mudding in" is and do you think it's acceptable? I can't help but think that the manner in which the tree is planted can influence the necessity of tree stakes. Location and depth notwithstanding for the sake of this argument (we'll assume right tree-right place and that root flare has been located)
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
I use three foot long, untreated white wood 1"x2" stakes, sharpened to a dagger end. I rip them myself from 2x4 lumber, as I haven't found any production wood stakes available with as sharp of a tip as I need. I really want them to be vampire killers. I use the same rotary hammer I use for lightning protection system ground rods, with a 3/4" x 3' masonry bit to make pilot holes. I pour a little water in them to lube them up and soften the soil a bit, and then use the rotary hammer with a special fitting to drive the stakes in nice and neat, without mushrooming the top of the stake, so that I've still got sound wood to which the cross pieces can be screwed.

A study was done some years back using 2x2 stakes of the same length as a proof of concept. I use 1x2 (3/4"x1.5") stakes in my process, because I can manufacture them relatively easily, and install them efficiently with light equipment in the field. I figure I've still got approximately 66% of the below-ground friction surface I'd have with 2x2 material, and all the trees I've installed in that process have fared exceptionally well.
 
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