Staked tree - Knowledgebase Question

Conway, So
Question by shadyladysc
November 18, 2009
I have a corkscrew willow that I planted this past spring. Its not growing straight and was told to stake it so the main trunk would grow straight instead of the way it is now, which is bowed over. I was also told not to leave it it this way too long. But how long is too long?

Answer from NGA
November 18, 2009


Newly planted trees can be staked for a year - two at the most - without harm, as long as you check periodically to make sure the ties are not damaging the bark. Corkscrew willows naturally have a curved rather than an upright trunk but securely staking it upright will train it to grow more upright than it normally would. The best way to stake a tree is to use 3 stakes (metal or wood) and some wire. You'll also want some rubber tubing or a few lengths of old garden hose to string over the wire to protect the bark of your tree. Pound the stakes into the ground, in a triangle. Each of the stakes will be individually attached to the trunk with the protected wire so the stakes should be equal distances from each other. Attach the wire firmly to the stake, wrap it around the trunk (be sure the tubing is situated so it keeps the wire from digging into the bark), then take it back to the stake, wrap it around the stake and then wrap the end of the wire around the first wire (the one that's pulled tense up toward the tree trunk). Do this with all three stakes, making sure there's equal tension on all wires and that they are firmly attached but not so tight as to pull the tree in any single direction. There should be a little play in the wires, so the tree can move a bit, but not too much play. Be sure to check the loops around the trunk every month or so and loosen when necessary so they won't make marks in the bark. Best wishes with your corkscrew willow.

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