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Stake or mistake?


 
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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 17 Feb 2013
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Location: East Cork

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Stake or mistake? Reply with quote

I've heard and read a lot recently about staking trees, or not staking them.

http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/horticultural%20myths_files/Myths/Staking.pdf

http://forestry.about.com/od/treeandforestcare/i/tree_staking.htm

and some podcast stuff (The Dean of Green)

I just planted 5 containter grown trees in my garden last week and didn't bother staking them at all. They are about 6 to 10 feet tall and the tops of them are rocking away in the wind but the bottom few inches seem ok.

I might do as someone here suggested and put a few heavy rocks on the root ball.

Also I decided to follow the theory that there's no need to enrich the backfill soil, unless you think it is very bad. I just broke up the soil as much as I could around the hole, about a metre in diameter, and threw this stuff back into the hole. One of the trees is on a part of the lawn which was fairly boggy (due that shower we had that started in October and finished last Saturday) so I mixed in some compost into that one. The soil wouldn't normally be boggy there.

I would like to leave them as they are, but is it possible to check in a few week's time for signs of root rock?

Or do you think I've made a terrible mistake?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless the area was extremely sheltered I would always stake newly planted trees. The just need to be staked enough to prevent wind rock where the rootzone meets the new soil and also where the tree stem emerges from the rootball. rocking too much at this early stage spells disaster.

You can still stake them now, perhaps by driving a stake diagonally to avoid bursting the rootball.

What trees types did you plant Hosta Frequency Kenneth?

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is a brilliant username.
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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James
I planted 2 cherries, 1 Flowering Crab, 1 Rowan and 1 White Birch. There's no sign of lower stem rocking at the moment, but I might stake them at the weekend just in case. No point in leaving anything to chance.

Medieval Knievel, thanks! It was that or 'Back to the Fuschia', but I prefer hostas..
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

your trees are not carrying leaves at the moment - but wait for a windy day when they have leaves (and before the root system is fully developed), and you could be in trouble without a stake. worth noting where the prevailing wind is coming from to ensure the stake provides optimum support.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hi James
I planted 2 cherries, 1 Flowering Crab, 1 Rowan and 1 White Birch. There's no sign of lower stem rocking at the moment, but I might stake them at the weekend just in case. No point in leaving anything to chance.

Medieval Knievel, thanks! It was that or 'Back to the Fuschia', but I prefer hostas..


I agree with Medi Knev on the leafing up issue.
I have seen Rowans produce better berries on sites with non-enriched backfill soil vs those that were pampered too much.
It seems to thrive on a certain amount of neglect....... as it would growing on hillsides.

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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks lads, I'll stake them this weekend. I can hear the wind howling outside as I type!... If I put a stake down now I presume it would have to stay down all summer and through next winter..and come off next spring?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Kilkelly, was GPI. wrote:
You can still stake them now, perhaps by driving a stake diagonally to avoid bursting the rootball.
what would happen if the rootball was burst.? Would the tree still grow OK?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
what would happen if the rootball was burst.? Would the tree still grow OK?


A burst rootball = damaged roots = lessened transfer of water and nutrients to the tree.
It may survive, it may not.

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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I staked them diagonally anyway and mulched with sheets of cardboard (to much amusement). And wouldn't you know it, as soon as they get in the ground it stops raining for 12 days! Out with the bucket now every day...
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