By Katie Neis
You pass by your trees every day. They look green and leafy, ready to take on the world.
Then you notice the tree stakes .. They aren’t so pretty. In fact, they have started to fade under the glare of the sun and are annoying to weed around. Gosh, you just wish you could get rid of them.
If this is the second summer your tree has been in the ground, now is the time. Take off the stakes and twine to set your tree FREE!! Initially the stakes were used to help support the tree and to keep people and lawn tools away. By the second summer, the roots should have a good hold in the ground and be ready to support the tree.
Don’t worry if your tree can still wiggle a little bit after you take out the stakes. It’s okay. The tree should get a chance to sense the wind. This will encourage the tree to grow strong healthy roots in adjacent areas to support it for the rest of its life.
Remember, the second summer after planting is just as important as the first for watering. The tree needs the water to further build its roots system. These roots you are creating will ensure the survival of the tree when you cut back the water after the third summer.
Also, removing the twine is HUGE! A tree transfers all its nutrients and food through its bark, and bark damage can kill a tree.
Don’t forget! We have FREE mulch for your trees at our office. Mulch helps create a buffer around your trees once your stakes have been removed.
–Neis is a Neighborhood Trees Assistant for Friends of Trees.