When you plant a young tree, you’ll often install stakes to keep it upright and healthy until it establishes itself in the new environment. Stakes are usually necessary if the tree has a relatively small root ball, heavy foliage, or your region is too windy. Like many tree owners, you could be wondering when the best time to remove tree stakes is.
In this blog post, Arbor Green Tree Service, a trusted tree service company in Newtown, CT, takes a deeper look into when to remove tree stakes. Keep reading for more information.
What’s the Best Time for Removing Tree Stakes?
A good rule of thumb is to remove stakes supporting your newly planted trees after about one year. That means if you planted the trees during the fall, you can safely remove the stakes the following fall. This allows your young trees sufficient time to undergo a complete growing season. The soil around your tree’s root ball will have adequate time to settle properly. What’s more, the prolonged period gives the tree ample time to extend its root system across the surrounding soil.
It’s worth noting that leaving the tree staking in place for too long can do more harm than good to your trees. Once a tree has a sturdy root system, you should let it swing freely in the winds. This promotes the natural strengthening of tree trunks, allowing the tree to support the weight of the branches as they start growing and spreading out.
How To Remove Your Tree Stakes Safely
Now that you know when to remove tree stakes, you should learn how to do it properly to avoid harming your young trees. Follow these simple steps to remove your tree stakes:
- Measure the diameter of your tree’s trunk and its overall height. If the trunk is at least one inch and the height is at least six feet, it’s safe to remove the stakes. However, you may need to consider other factors like tree species and the soil condition.
- Carefully remove the twine or guide wires wrapped around your tree. You don’t want to cause injury to the tree bark.
- Hit the stakes near the ground level with a mallet to loosen them. Then, shake the stakes in a back-and-forth motion to free them from the soil and make it easier to pull them upwards.
- Add loose soil to the stake holes for backfilling.
After removing the stakes, shake your tree to see how stable it is, or consider observing it for a couple of days. You can reinstall the stakes if the tree still feels wobbly.
Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance
If you’re still not sure about when to remove tree stakes, the professionals at Arbor Green Tree Service can help. We provide a wide range of services, including:
- Emergency Tree Services
- Tree Removal
- Stump Grinding