Q. We have Mondel pines that are 5 ½ years old which are still staked. I'm afraid these bindings will strangle the trees soon. But we also have a lot of wind that could blow the trees over. Can I safely remove the braces now?
A. Yes, remove the stakes. Tree stakes, or as you call them bindings, should be removed after the first growing season. If the planting holes are prepared correctly, these trees should be firmly anchored in the soil after one growing season.
I understand your concern about the trees possibly blown over by wind. As trees get taller with a full canopy, strong winds can uproot them easily if they are not firmly anchored in the soil.
|Leaving the stakes tied to the trunk can result in those ties strangling the trunk. Eventually if these ties are not removed the trunk may snap in a strong wind or prevent water and nutrients from moving up and down the trunk.|
It’s true, it allows more wind through the canopy but unfortunately results in limbs that become weak and break easily during strong winds. Don’t use this method.
A better method is to selectively remove entire branches from the trunk. This method also allows wind to move through the canopy but without weakening and eventually breaking the remaining limbs.
Secondly, increase the area irrigated under the tree as the tree gets larger and water them deeply. This increases the size and depth of the root system thus improving its anchorage in the soil.