London (change)
Today 18°C / 13°C
Tomorrow 20°C / 15°C

Staking trees


by Jane Moore

I've never known rain like it (well, this being the UK, maybe I have). The poor old allotment is saturated, windswept and generally the worse for wear.


Tying a tree to a stake with a plastic tree guardI've never known rain like it (well, this being the UK, maybe I have). The poor old allotment is saturated, windswept and generally the worse for wear.

I'm tidying up and securing all the brassica netting that's blown all over the plot these last few days. And my apple trees, which I'm very fond of since they fruited so abundantly, will need new stakes.

My plot is on the side of a small hill and benefits from gentle summer breezes that blow down the valley - lovely for keeping cool in August. But during autumn and winter it's exposed to the vagaries of the weather and the little apple trees have taken a hammering. They were, I confess, inadequately staked in the first place.

There is a school of thought that says young trees should not be staked at all, so that the stems flex in the wind and strengthen naturally. But on my plot the wind would rock young trees loose in the soil and their roots wouldn't get a grip.

I favour the minimalist method of staking trees: a single stake driven into the ground and standing only about 30-45cm (12-18in) tall. This gives the tree a chance to build up its own strength as it flexes in the wind but keeps those roots safe and secure. Perhaps the trees won't then grow as ramrod-straight as they would with a longer stake, but I much prefer the natural look.



Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Staking trees
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 27/11/2008 at 10:55

Can I ask what the best apple tree is for growing on an allotment. I don't want an enormous tree that takes over the entire plot however I would like a good crop. i think I will probably try an espalliare ( if thats spelt right) but really don't know where to start.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/01/2009 at 13:21

We have 100+ old cherry tree with fabulous flavour and crop of cherries. Decayed part of tree fell over a few years ago. The remaining trunk is leaning at about 15 degrees. We have chopped off the top to a height of 13 feet which has produced branches with fruit for the last 5 years. What type of stake should we use?

Gardeners' World Web User 25/03/2009 at 08:11

I want to know which type of staking trees to be used? plumbing services sydney

Gardeners' World Web User 29/03/2010 at 20:56

goede start

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:37

Staking trees might be used to give the trees more strength Blocked drains