Staking a new White Pine necessary?

ruthie51July 10, 2010

We recently had two white pine evergreen trees planted behind our house. The workers who planted the trees staked both of them. I've read that staking evergreens is not recommended unless the tree is more than 8' tall and/or the conditions are overly windy. In fact what I read said that the trees will grow stronger without being staked. We live inland in central NJ where it's not particularly windy except during the occasional strong thunderstorm. The pines are approximately 7' tall. Would you recommend removing the stakes or should they remain? Thank you for your assistance.

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I seldom stake trees because I plant small ones. I plant them, remove that scrawny nursery stake and if it's standing straight up, I leave it alone.

And yes, they do develop better trunks if they can flex.

1 - Leave the stakes alone for now.

2- Remove the ties while someone is holding the trunk just above the ties.

3 - Slide your hand down the trunk until the trunk starts to flop over for lack of support.

4 - Obviously, if your hand reaches the ground and the tree is still upright, there is no need for staking and ties.

5 - If the tree starts to flex and flop over, re-tie it to the stakes 6-12 inches above where your hand was when it started flopping. Tie it loosely so the trunk can sway a bit in the breeze.

6 - RECHECK every month to see if you can lower the ties or remove them completely.

I use stretchy ties made from old panty hose so the tree can move in the wind, which stimulates trunk growth. I also make checking and removing ties a regular part of yard work when I have small trees. That and pruning them to establish a good shape early.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 11:38AM
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Hi lazygardens- Thank you for your excellent advice. We're going to follow your instructions today.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 1:44PM
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I would agree... staking is only needed if the rootball mass is not sufficient to keep the tree erect and prevent tilting over in the wind.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 7:43PM
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We did as lazygardens instructed and the trees were fine, no problems remaining totally upright, so we removed the stakes altogether. Thanks, Isabella for confirming.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 10:12PM
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