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Guying & Staking


Staking and guying is usually unnecessary if the tree has been planted properly with the proper earth ball size of at least 9” of ball for each 1” of trunk diameter. Staking is often a waste of money and always detrimental to the proper trunk development of the plant.


This is the kind of tree damage staking can cause, via City of Seattle.


Staked trees consistently produce less trunk taper, develop a smaller root system and are now subject to leaning when stakes are removed. In rare circumstances (sandy soil, tall evergreen trees, etc.) where the tree needs to be staked for a while, connect the guy wires as low on the trunk as possible and remove the stakes as soon as possible.


Never leave staking on more than one growing season. Temporary staking should be done with strong wire and metal eyebolts screwed into the trunk. Staking should only be done as a last resort – it is unsightly, expensive, adds to mowing and trimming costs, and restricts the tree’s ability to develop tensile strength in the trunk. It can also cause damage to the cambium layer even when soft materials are used. Remove all identification tags at planting.


The City of Seattle has a good page about how to carefully stake trees





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