To Stake or Not to Stake

It’s still cold outside, but the recent rains and short bout of warm weather were enough to thaw the ground and give us a chance to get some work done. A few of the trees we planted along the medians on Arlington Avenue last fall started to lean. Some were even getting close to the road. Staked%20Tree%20in%20Snow.jpg So, on Friday some of KIB’s community forestry folks donned our hard hats and loaded up the back of the truck with staking equipment. Tools included: post pounder, 6ft T-Posts and Tree Mate-Os! With a little elbow grease were able to successfully stake four trees. However, if you drive this stretch, you might notice, a few of our trees are still looking a bit crooked. That’s because the root balls on these trees have shifted in the soil and are currently frozen in place. Once the weather starts to warm-up for good, we should be able to easily adjust the root balls getting the trees up-right. Then, we will determine if the tree will need a stake for support. 

It’s important to remember, staking a newly planted tree is not always needed.  Staking trees that don’t need the help can actually weaken the tree--yikes! As trees move in the wind they produce a taper (they become wider at the base) to help them stabilize and give them a better chance of surviving strong winds in the future. Depending on the equipment used, staking a tree can restrict this needed movement. If a tree does need to be staked, be sure to remove the stake after one year. For more information on tree care, check out our Community Forestry Resources page.