Q. Hi Bob!
|Tree trunk girdled by wire supports|
after two years
My next question is, does the wires that hold down the tree stunt its growth? Someone told me that the tree needs to move around so that it can grow thicker and stronger. My tree looks so small compared to my neighbors who have the same tree and didn't use wires to keep it upright.
I would appreciate if you could answer my questions that I have been wondering about for a long time.
A. Just a couple of quick rules about staking and tree growth.
|Tree staked and the trunk |
allowed to move
• Try not to leave stakes on planted trees for more than one growing season. This should be as much time as they should ever need if they need any staking at all.
• Allow side shoots to grow along the trunk the first couple of seasons. Only remove them when these become pencil diameter or larger.
The staking of trees is primarily to prevent the rootball from moving. If the rootball is prevented from moving inside the planting hole, the roots have a better chance of becoming established in the surrounding soil. Wires from the stakes should be low enough on the trunk to prevent the rootball from moving but not the upper part of the trunk.
Another possible way of stakinga tree with one stake
Unless you want a large tree for aesthetic value then select the smallest but healthiest tree possible for planting. These smaller trees become established more quickly and will surpass the larger plants in a couple of growing seasons.
Use organic surface mulch around the bottom of the tree to a distance of 3 to 4 feet from the trunk. This organic mulch should not be bark mulch but wood chips from trees that were removed by arborists in the valley and then chipped for disposal. The mulch should be 4 to 6 inches deep and kept at least 6 inches from the trunk for the first four growing seasons.