Staking a new apple tree (and a new damson tree)

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Zippy

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Staking a new apple tree (and a new damson tree)
« on: December 30, 2010, 10:27 »
Apple:
I have a 4-variety family tree, about 3 feet in length including roots and I wonder if I need to stake it at all?  One description was to use two 2x2 stakes, both two feet longer than the tree trunk and position them two feet deep; one North and one South of the trunk as these are the prevailing wind diections. Then tie a supporting loop of twine around both stakes and holding in the apple tree branches for support.

Not sure about this as the trunk is not actually tied in to a stake?

Damson:
The same question for my new Damson Tree which, as there is no dwarfing I understand for damson, is about six feet high including roots. I don't know whether to stake the whole trunk for this one in the conventional way.

However, I had read that staking all the way up the trunk is not necessarily a good idea as the tree doesn't develop strong anchoring roots because it is not subject to any amount of wind rock and the best way was to provide a short but firm stake to tie in the base and allow the top of the tree to sway so the roots are stimulated to grow stronger against the stress.

I would welcome your views before committing to the task.

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joyfull

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Re: Staking a new apple tree (and a new damson tree)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2010, 10:38 »
Zippy, your comment about not staking the whole of the trunk is correct, trees that are allowed a little movement develop a stronger root system and also develop this quicker.  The way mentioned for your apple also allows the trunk to move a little and stops the ties from digging into the trunk as the tree grows. Personally I prefer to either use tree guards which go around the trunk and and are anchored with a single stake or cane and these also protect from gnawing animals and for very small trees and shrubs they also get a small micro climate which helps development.
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noshed

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Re: Staking a new apple tree (and a new damson tree)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 10:43 »
I seem to dimly remember Monty Don planting trees with a short stake tied in at an angle to the trunk but you'd better check that. http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?PID=208
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Zippy

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Re: Staking a new apple tree (and a new damson tree)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 10:51 »
Excellent link noshed - thankyou

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Yorkie

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Re: Staking a new apple tree (and a new damson tree)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 15:12 »
I was always taught to stake at 45 degrees, with the stake 'downwind' of the prevailing wind direction (which is generally SW in this country).  i.e. the wind blows the tree onto the stake.  The stake should be no more than about 3' high.

Also use a tree tie or other spacer to ensure that the tie can be expanded when the trunk grows, and that the trunk doesn't rub directly against the stake.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...



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