Proper Pruning and Staking
When it comes to looking after our natural garden or forests with trees, it is also important to understand what pruning and staking are all about. Tree pruning means you are removing certain stems or branches off the tree in order to benefit the whole tree. Sometimes it means removing any dead or damaged, diseased branches to prevent insect organisms decaying the tree. Sometimes pruning the dense canopy of a tree will increase its air and sunshine needs, often resulting in fewer diseases.
Staking is also a surgical treatment for trees
As soon as a young tree has been planted, it is the right time to stake. Staking is meant to keep a young tree secure and firm in the soil . It is necessary to check the stakes and their ties each year so that they are not becoming too tight on the tree and causing damage to the tree. Once your trees can support themselves without bending or moving firmly and strong in the ground, the stakes can be removed to allow the tree to grow on its own . This can take anytime from 18 months to 3 years time.
How to stake trees
There are quite a few ways of staking you trees. It will all depend on the type of tree you stake, its size and the planting methods you use. Stakes need to go into the ground to at least 2 feet deep. If the stake is not stable in the ground, then the plant won’t be anchored properly either.
You get single stakes and double stakes:
- Single stakes are the method usually used for bare-root trees. Here the stake is inserted before the tree is plant. For most trees, the stakes needs to be one-third of the tree height. That will anchor the roots properly and allow the stems to get thicker and have sway. If the tree has long stems, use a long and vertical stake, cutting it lower the next year. A gap of about an inch should be between the stake and the stem.
- Double stakes are the standard methods of staking trees in containers or root-balled trees. You can insert 2 or 3 stakes, evenly spaced apart around the planted tree outside of the root ball. Secure it to the trunk with ties or a timber cross-bar. This is a good method in windy areas as well.
With staking, it is just always important that the ties don’t become too tight. They need to be adjusted regularly.
Pruning of the new trees
New trees don’t really need much pruning. The amount of time it takes for a new tree to establish itself averages about 3 years, and little pruning is necessary at this stage. If and when you do prune, you would generally follow these guidelines but before you plant them in your new garden and home, see some tips and advice here:
- Prune off any damaged branches and dead wood
- Prune those branches that pose a structural problem; that might be a problem later on
- Any water sprouts which are the soft and very fast-growing vertical growths would need to be removed at the limb or the trunk from which they have grown
- Suckers, which are similar to water sprouts and grow from the base of the plant or roots should be removed.
After about 3 years, lower branches from the tree could be removed, generally taking off about 1 or 2 branches a year. If you take off too many, you can inhibit the tree, causing it to weaken from the “wounding”.
Living, beautiful trees a joy to behold
Trees are alive, living and breathing organisms. A tree has circulation, it grows, it digests its food and it needs water, sun and air to thrive. Trees shown off in parks or gardens will need pruning and staking like people have cosmetic procedures. This enhances their beauty. In the wild they are still beautiful and go their own lovely way.
Proper tree pruning does enhance the beauty of most landscaped trees and shrubs, but improper pruning ruins and reduces the landscaped potential. It is far better not to prune than to prune incorrectly. In nature, trees and plants go years without being pruned and many times, man ruins what nature created. Using improper pruning methods turns healthy plants into weakened or deformed plants.