Tree stakes and ties

There are various different methods to provide support for trees depending on their size and location, Sally Drury explains.

Double stake with cross bar: mostly used for container-grown and root balled trees - image: HW
Double stake with cross bar: mostly used for container-grown and root balled trees - image: HW

Why are some trees staked and others not?

Trees are staked when they need support, perhaps because of their size or the exposure of the site. The main point of staking a newly planted tree is to provide stability to the roots while they establish so they can suck up nutrients and water and provide anchorage.

Before roots have had a chance to develop and the tree establish in its new home, a well-developed branch structure means the tree can rock in the wind. This can lead to the root ball drying out and working loose in the pit. A sudden blast of wind is then all that is needed to topple the tree, assuming it has not already given up and died.

Support is not usually required for whips and stock shorter than 1m where the plant is inserted into a slot or notch dug by a spade or planting spear. Where staking is deemed necessary is when a planting pit has been excavated to accept the tree roots. In this case a stake and tie or underground supporting system will be needed, the most appropriate being determined by the size of the planting stock and its location.

Some trees are planted with a single stake while others might have two or three. Why are there different methods?

The single-stake method is suited to trees from feathered up to standard and for stock with bare roots. The stake is rammed into the ground in the bottom of the pit, on the side of the prevailing wind, so the tree blows away from the stake to lessen the likelihood of chafing. To further reduce this risk, machine-rounded stakes are normally used with standard trees. With the advantage of being adjustable as the tree grows, buckle-type ties are popular for securing tree to stakes.

The double-stake with cross bar and triple-stake systems are most commonly used for container-grown and root balled trees because the stakes can straddle or be positioned around the root ball. With these it is popular to use webbing or belting to secure the tree.

However, a new one-piece adjustable tie has been introduced by Tyne Moulds & Machinery for use with such supports. Made of soft material to protect the bark, it can be fitted quickly by fastening it to the cross bar with screws and washers, then wrapping it round the tree stem as with a buckle tie.

Yet another way of providing support is by above-ground guying. This method is used for large trees and involves securing the tree via strong cables to low stakes driven into the ground at 45 degs, like a tent peg. The cable is covered with rubber piping at the point where it is wrapped around the tree.

Guying is more expensive. When should it be considered as an option to provide support?

Underground guying is used to support root balled stock where overground support is not suitable, perhaps because of a large tree size, where stakes would detract from appearance or where overground guying might cause a trip hazard. Underground guying also gives the stem freedom of movement while still holding the root system steady to aid establishment.

- The listing below details many of the major suppliers of tree stakes, shelter stakes, bamboo canes, post drivers and tree ties.

TREE STAKES AND TIES: CURRENT PRODUCT OFFERINGS FROM MAJOR SUPPLIERS IN THE MARKETPLACE

Tree stakes: round

Amenity Land Solutions

Machine rounded, pointed and pressure treated: 1.2m, 1.5m, 1.65m, 1.8m and 2.4m by 50mm diameter; 1.2m, 1.65m, 1.8m, 2.1m and 2.4m by 75mm. Crossbars available.

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

Machine rounded: 1.2m and 1.5m by 50mm; 1.65m and 1.8m by 60mm; and 2.4m by 75mm.

Cheviot Trees

Softwood, round, pointed and pressure treated: 1.2m or 1.8m by 50mm and 1.8m by 60mm.

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

Round softwood treated: 1.2m by 50mm; 1.8m and 2.4m by 60mm. Crossbars (90cm) also available.

Farm Forestry Co

Machine rounded, pressure treated (FSC on request): 1.2m and 1.8m by 50mm; and 2.1m and 2.4m by 60mm.

Green-tech

Machine rounded, pointed/tannalised: 1.2m by 500mm; 2.4m by 60mm; and 1.65m, 1.8m and 2.4m by 75cm.

Toms Tree Ties

Machine rounded, pointed and pressure treated: 1.5m by 50mm; 1.8m and 2.4m by 60mm; and 2.4m by 75mm.

Tudor Environmental

Machine rounded, pointed: 1.2m by 50mm; 1.8m by 60mm; 1.8m by 75mm; and 2.4m by 60mm or 75mm. Also half-round/sawn timber rails and crossbars.

TREE STAKES: SQUARE (INCLUDING TREE SHELTER SUPPORT)

Alba Trees

Hardwood square stakes: 1.3m by 25mm. Softwood treated square stakes: 75cm or 90cm by 25mm; and 1.2m or 1.35m by 32mm.

Amenity Land Solutions

Square stakes: 75cm, 90cm and 1.2m by 25mm; 90cm, 1.2m and 1.5m by 32mm.

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

Imported or homegrown square sawn: 75cm and 90cm by 25mm; 75cm, 90cm, 1.2m, 1.35m, 1.5m and 1.8m by 32mm.

Cheviot Trees

Square sawn: 75cm and 90cm by 25mm; 75cm, 90cm, 1.2m, 1.3m, 1.35m, 1.5m and 1.8m by 32mm.

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

Square sawn: 75cm, 90cm and 1.2m by 25mm; and 90cm, 1.2m and 1.5m by 32mm.

Farm Forestry Co

Square sawn: 75cm and 90cm by 25mm; 90cm, 1.2m, 1.35m, 1.5m, 1.65m and 1.8m by 32mm.

Green-tech

Square sawn softwood, pointed and tannalised: 75cm and 90cm by 25mm; 90cm, 1.2m, 1.35m, 1.5m and 1.8m by 32mm; and 2.4m by 75mm.

Toms Tree Ties

Square sawn softwood, pointed and treated: 90cm and 1.2m by 25mm; and 1.5m by 32mm.

Tudor Environmental

Square sawn: 90cm and 1.5m by 32mm.

BAMBOO CANES

Alba Trees

90cm long in bundles of 500.

Amenity Land Solutions

3ft long (9-11lbs or 12-14lbs/100), all supplied in bundles of 500.

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

9cm long (9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs/100), 1.2m long (20-22lbs/100) and 1.8m long (28-32lbs/100).

Cheviot Trees

45cm (3-4lbs/100) packed in 1,000s, 90cm (9-11lbs and 12-14lbs/100) and 1.2m (22-24lbs/100) packed in 250s.

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

90cm long (9-11lbs or 12-14lbs/100) supplied in bundles of 100 or 500. Also 1.2m long (18-20lbs/100) supplied in bundles of 250.

Farm Forestry Co

1ft (8-10mm diameter), 3ft (8-10lbs, 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 16-18lbs/100), 3ft 6in (16-18lbs and 18-20lbs/100), 4ft (12-14lbs, 16-18lbs, 18-20lbs or 22- 24lbs/100), 5ft (28-32lbs/100), 7ft (36-40lbs/100) and 8ft (44-48lbs/100).

Green-tech

90cm (10-12mm, 12-14mm or 14-16mm diameter) and 1.2m (14-16mm diameter).

Stanton Hope

3ft long (9-11lbs or 12-14lbs/100) and 4ft (22-24lbs/100).

Tudor Environmental

3ft (9-11lbs/100) in bundles of 500, 3ft (12-14lbs/100) in bundles of 400, 4ft (18-20lbs/100) in bundles of 500 and 8ft (50-55lbs/100) in 80s.

Toms Tree Ties

90cm long (9-11lbs/100) supplied in bundles of 500 and 1.2m long (18-20lbs/100) supplied in bales of 250.

POST DRIVERS

Amenity Land Solutions

Two models in 5in and 6in diameters. Also cane driver.

Green-tech

Post rammer and post-hole digger.

Stanton Hope

Driver 2in for tree shelter stakes. Also stake lifters, planting spades and planting spears.

Tudor Environmental

Two post knockers with 5in diameters.

INTERLOCKING AND BUCKET TIES

Alba Trees

Amenity Land Solutions

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

Cheviot Trees

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

Farm Forestry Co

GreenBlue Urban

Green-tech

Rainbow Professional

Rubberloc

Stanton Hope

Toms Tree Ties

Tudor Environmental

Tyne Moulds & Machinery

BELTING/WEBBING

Amenity Land Solutions

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

Farm Forestry Co

GreenBlue Urban

Green-tech

Rainbow Professional

Rubberloc

Stanton Hope

Toms Tree Ties

Tudor Environmental

Tyne Moulds & Machinery

CUSHION/BLOCKS AND SPACERS

Alba Trees

Amenity Land Solutions

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

Cheviot Trees

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

Farm Forestry Co

GreenBlue Urban

Green-tech

Rainbow Professional

Rubberloc

Stanton Hope

Toms Tree Ties

Tudor Environmental

Tyne Moulds & Machinery

TYING TUBE/CHAINLOCK

Amenity Land Solutions

British Hardwood Tree Nursery

Cheviot Trees

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

Farm Forestry Co

GreenBlue Urban

Green-tech

Rainbow Professional

Stanton Hope

Toms Tree Ties

Tudor Environmental

Tyne Moulds & Machinery

UNDERGROUND GUYING/ANCHORING

Amenity Land Solutions

English Woodlands (Burrow Nursery)

GreenBlue Urban

Green-tech

Platipus Anchors

Toms Tree Ties

Tudor Environmental

CONTACTS

Alba Trees 01620 825058; Amenity Land Solutions 01902 255036; British Hardwood Tree Nursery 01673 818443; Cheviot Trees 01289 386755; English Woodlands 01435 862992; Farm Forestry Co 01588 650496; GreenBlue Urban 01580 830800; Green-tech 01423 332100; Platipus Anchors 01737 762300; Rainbow Professional 01482 616861; Rubberloc 01902 440253; Stanton Hope 01268 419141; Toms Tree Ties 01233 77066; Tudor Environmental 024 7685 6846; Tyne Moulds & Machinery 0191 239 4953.


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