Take care when staking trees

Today I got a close look at some evergreens that we planted a few years ago. They have grown like crazy. I remember when we bought them at the nursery and we stuffed a dozen of them “root-balls and all” into our SUV with the kids shoehorned in between. Today there is no chance you would fit a single tree in the car, let alone handle it without a large bobcat or tractor.

About 9 months ago we had some rough weather. A few of these trees were planted softer soil near a ditch at the end of our yard. While they are large trees now, they were blown a bit crooked and I decided to stake several of them temporarily. I used some paracord and steel fence posts to get the job done.

It is pretty amazing how quickly the tension can cut into the soft exterior of the tree bark. Even more amazing was the speed at which the tree began to grow around the obstacle.

I had a really tough time with a knife and pair of pliers extricating the offending cord which embedded under the tree bark in a thick layer of sap.

I think either one of two things would have eventually happened without intervention. Either the rope would have become “part” of the tree and somehow sap and nutrients would have travelled through the cord in capillary action. (I have my doubts). Or the tree would have eventually snapped the offending string but not before creating a point of weakness in the trunk.

I’m glad I caught this in time and the trees can continue to grow (hopefully even faster now).

In recent home projects and research i have found wood to be one of the most amazing materials and it is all thanks to trees. It is plentiful, extremely strong, yet also exhibits flexibility and readily yields itself to a builders tools.

There are many wood varieties each which exhibit specific characteristics based on growth rate and environment. Next time you look at lumber in a store notice there are markings on it which tell about the type of species and moisture content. This can play a critical role in its applicability for use or limitation when building a structure.

Trees grow a cell at a time and can break concrete as its root system searches for water and nutrients to continue growing.

Wood remains stronger than steel when being burned in a fire for quite a while. It can span incredible lengths that seemingly defy physics as a cantilevered beam without breaking.

Don’t do what I did. Please, take care of your trees.

Here’s a nice stake solution. I like the wide straps as they have less opportunity to dig into the tree trunk >

DeepRoot Arbortie Heavy Duty Anchoring Kit for Anchoring Trees +

HORTtie Tree Tie Staking & Guying Material, 40 feet, Commercial Grade USA MADE!

One Comment on “Take care when staking trees

  1. Nice write-up. Good work saving your trees from further damage.
    I like your writing style. Strangely, it reminds me of me!


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