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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 2:05 pm 
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Nope.

Unless the root ball is actually coming loose from the soil, there is no need to stake. More than likely, you're just seeing the results of a tree that was staked for too long.

The trunk hasn't been abused enough to build up strength. Think about having a cast on your arm. After having one on for a long time, your muscles atrophy somewhat. Same kind of thing happens on the cellular level as a tree grows. If it is supported too long by a staking system, the trunk does not develop the tensile strength that it requires to properly support the tree's own weight. Remove the staking then and the trunk droops. With time this should correct itself if it isn't too extreme.

Some gardeners/landscapers will actually suggest you spank your tree. Yeah, I know, sounds odd. But, here's how it works:

If you have a young tree, say with a 3-inch or smaller diameter, you take a dowel rod or possibly a broom handle. You then tap it firmly, but not hard enough to leave marks. Do so up and down the trunk from base to the first branchings and repeat every weekend or so. Takes maybe 5 minutes a tree. This agitates the cells there and stimulates them to grow stronger.

Bear in mind that wind blowing your young trees around is good for them. They get stronger with the forced flexing they get. I've had young trees bent nearly flat to the ground by hard wind and yet they get stronger each growing season as a result.

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It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.


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 Post subject: leaning trees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 2:40 pm 
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Shepherd of the Trees,
We have two young live oaks (8 ft.) that are leaning from hard wind. We don't have them tied down, but instead we put three stakes around each and tied rope around the stakes, not to the tree itself, to help brace the trees. Is this approach as bad as tying the trees down? Do we need to take out the stakes completely? They have been like that for two years, and are leaning almost more than before.
:?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:26 am 
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No that isn't worse than staking, per se. It isn't as restrictive of movement so it isn't inhibiting the growth. One thing to watch is that the rope frame around them doesn't chafe the bark off if there's a lot of wind.

About the leaning, is it the trunk just sort of bent-leaning in a particular direction, or is the root ball displaced with a still straight trunk that is pointing other than straight up? If the root ball got shifted, you can always reseat it (but not till fall, summer isn't a great time for disturming plantings). If the trunk is bent a bit, don't worry- they tend to straighten themselves over time.

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It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 8:29 am 
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How long has that been in the ground, Dan?

If the ball is loose then it likely wasn't planted well.

Since we haven't had bad summer heat yet you might get away with re-planting it. Follow Howard's guide and it should be better. They might have dug too deeply and used bad backfilling technique.

You could take advantage of this time to put it somewhere else that you liked better. You might need to move it somewhat in any case to an area nearby that hasn't had too much of the local soil disturbed. When the soil has been disturbed too deeply, then even a tree planted at the correct depth can settle in the first few years and end up too deep.

The key points in Howard's guide are to not plant too deeply, not disturb the soil under the planting hole, make that hole wide and rough, and backfill only with the soil you took out. Water it in slowly but deeply. No tamping should be needed. Once you've got it in there, you might add a tad of compost to the top and some mulch to cover the bare soil. Just don't pile the compost or mulch to where it is covering the trunk.

If a tree has just been planted and you're entering a windy season, a short period of careful staking might be needed just so the winds don't topple it in this early settling stage. However the staking should not be let for more than 2 seasons. Makes sure the contact point to the trunk is not too restrictive and is soft enough not to chafe off the bark in heavy wind.

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It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 8:36 pm 
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Okay, if you've got gaps then it wasn't backfilled propperly.

Water it in well, by hand with the hose until the soil there gets wet enough to semi-liquefy and fill itself in solidly. This one time giving it a lot of water won't hut at all, especially sincee it's concentrated and any serious excess should be absorbed by the surrounding soil.

What kind of tree is this lil fella?

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It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.


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