Staking new silver birch

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Steve Dowsing, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Steve Dowsing

    Steve Dowsing Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all i have planted a 12 ft silver birch tree it has a full lenth cane attached . Do i leave this on and stake it ? . Please can anyone give me some advice on staking it i have a couple of stakes amd some rubber ties . Thanks in advance20201011_120424.jpg
     
  2. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Welcome Steve. :)

    I'm sorry, but the tree is far to close to your fence. Silver Birches have an ultimate height of approximately 25 metres and 8 metres spread (width). Ideally it is suited to a large garden which will also make allowance for its root spread, which with many trees are often close to that of the height.

    In answer to your question....I'd remove the cane and use a single stake allowing the tree freedom of movement, possibly 5 to 7 cm between the two when it's attached.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      You know if it was mine I'd be tempted to cut at least 3 ft off the top of that .

      It just looks too leggy to me and is going to whip around in the wind next spring quite badly, possibly snap off.

      Then use the 45 degree staking method using a good tree tie.
       
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      • HarmonyArb

        HarmonyArb Gardener

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        Stakes should only be used in windy conditions or where there is chance of vandalism / damage from animals. Too many people stake trees as a matter of course and this has a detrimental affect on the strength of the developing tree. Nature does not stake her trees.

        Trees move about in the wind, and in strong gusts they can move about quite a lot. This is the natural way that trees dissipate the wind loading along their entire stem (along with mechanical dampening and hydraulic dampening of their twigs and leaves). Repeated swaying builds up woody tissue in the lower part of the truck leading to increased thickness and strength. Staking trees reduces the wind effect on the trunk and the tree fails to put on thicker tissue. When a heavy wind does hit the tree it is less likely to be able to withstand it.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          But trees in nature dont get dug up and replanted, I get what you are saying, a tree grown from seed, or planted at a tiny stage would not need staking but surely a 12ft whippy tree that has just been planted will need staking to stop root rock.
           
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          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            On my allotment plots, I left self sown Silver Birches to grow to about 2 or 3m high before coppicing for pea stick production, and they grew straight up without any need for support.

            Apples planted prior to my occupation were bent over by the prevailing winds from the west, but all the bare rooted apples I've planted supported by 45 degree bamboo canes are still vertical. I used this method after attending an apple growing course course held by a commercial grower/cider & juice producer.

            For larger trees, both the Landscape Architects and Aboriculturalist where I worked before retirement used to recommend twin stakes to about 1/3 height with a flexible tie between them to support the lower part of the stem, allowing the upper 2/3 to flex.
             
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              Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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