Keep Young Trees Straight and Protect From Trunk Damage

Keep Young Trees Straight and Protect From Trunk Damage

Solutions for young trees, including staking, watering and wrapping!

We love trees as much as you do! Our team of growers has searched for just the right tree staking system; and love the Dewitt Tree Support Stake Kit.

A proper staking system should provide adequate support for the canopy. However, the strapping system should never dig into the bark of the trunk which disrupts the critical tissues called "phloem".

Phloem is the vascular portion of the tree which carries photosynthetic nutrition from the leaves down to the root system. Hard straps can easily "girdle your tree" by rubbing off the bark and phloem; which will kill them over time. has carefully selected the Dewitt Tree Support Stake Kit, which features: dewitt tree stake kit

  • A sturdy, yet "non-girdling" 3 foot support strap that won't damage your tree
  • Three 10-foot sections of pliable, weather-resistant nylon tree rope
  •  Three 15-inch 100% recycled plastic stake

Included are written instructions with illustrations to make it easy for one person to do the installation. Use on one young tree with a diameter (caliber) trunk of three inches or less.

How Long Should You Stake Your New Trees?

There are many reasons to stake your young trees. However, in most situations staking should be considered a temporary condition. staked dwarf apple tree

Anchoring your tree will help your new tree develop a robust root ball as it gets established in your landscape. It protects the tree in high-wind conditions!

Once your tree's roots grow into the native soil of your yard, they'll act as a natural anchoring system. After the first year or two, remove the stakes.

As with any guideline…there are a few exceptions! With heavy, full-size fruit and small root systems, Dwarf Apple fruit trees need permanent external support to remain upright and grow straight.

#ProPlantTips Blog: Anchoring Your Dwarf Apple Trees

Why Should You Stake a Tree? staking a tree

  • To protect against strong winds
  • To stabilize newly planted trees until they form new roots
  • To correct leaning trees as the soil settles around new plantings
  • Specialty tree-form plants that are grafted to a standard trunk
  • To shore up the small root ball of dwarf fruit trees
  • To temporarily stake a new leader after corrective pruning

Young, and newly planted trees may need a bit of help to maintain a straight trunk when you plant it. Other trees that have elongated young new growth on the leader may also need some help.

tree form of lilac bush

Support for Tree-Form Plants

Tree-form plants are another type of trees that should be staked to continue to form a nice, straight trunk. Stake their canopy in your yard to provide support for the root ball as it grows into your soil.

Support for Grafted Trees

Some specialty weeping grafted trees are still working to develop a straight trunk. At your home, give them help until the trunk firms up to protect the grafted section. lavender twisted weeping redbud

After young grafted trees are planted, slide a straight 8-foot electric conduit as a stake alongside the main stem. Tie the trunk using flexible ties every few feet to support it.

Leave the stake in place for the first growing season. Then remove it once the trunk is firmed up.

What Kinds of Trees Usually Don't Need Staking?

  • Short, stocky trees 
  • Bare root trees
  • Young "whips" that don't have a large canopy or side branching

When Should You Remove the Tree Staking?

Only keep the stake in place until the plant can safely stand nice and straight on its own. Once established, take the straps off and remove the stakes to allow the tree to move around in the wind.

When an established tree can move freely in the wind, it will actually produce stronger trunks and branching. Staking gives the roots a chance to grow and firm up the trunk, which is what you want.

Watering Support for Young Trees dewitt watering donut

Watering new trees the first year can become a chore! Take advantage of one of our most helpful products for new trees…the Dewitt Dew Right Tree Watering Donut

New trees should have consistent water at the roots the first year. This product saves you time and protects your tree in hot and dry conditions. 

Application Instructions for Dewitt Dew Right Tree Watering Donut

  • Once your tree is planted, spread the donut around the tree so it is as flat as possible
  • Ensure the two emitters are placed ground-side down
  • Then, locate the water plug and insert a garden hose to fill with water
  • Once full, remove the hose and close the water plug

When filled with water, the round dimensions are 36 inches in diameter. The material is UV stabilized and can be used in either commercial or residential applications.

Poke your finger into the soil near the planting hole up to your second knuckle to check moisture levels. You may need to frequently fill the donut around newly planted trees may you to keep the roots moist.

Water and nutrients seeps down into the soil through the dual water emitters and releases water slowly for 5-8 hours. This provides great hydration, without risk of water running off away from the roots.

In early spring, it's easy to add the right measure of liquid fertilizer into the water plug. Please follow the label instructions to determine how much fertilizer to add.

Wrap Trees to Protect From Chewing Pests dalen tree wrap

Protect the trunk of all new trees with Dalen Tree Wrap from This specialty paper wrap breathes in extreme weather to avoid sun-scalding in high heat and frost cracking in frigid cold.

Dalen Tree Wrap also keeps the sharp teeth of chewing rodents and insects from girdling the trunk and killing your tree. Fruit trees are especially tempting to animal pests.

String trimmers are another common culprit that also damage the trunk. Give your new tree the help it needs with this easy investment.

Each roll is three inches wide and 50 feet long. Each roll will protect 3 - 5 trees, depending on the diameter (caliper) of the trunks. 

Application Instructions for Dalen Tree Wrap

  • Apply the wrap snugly, overlapping by one-third on each rotation.
  • Start at the base, and wind it around the trunk up to four feet. Cut and tuck the end under to secure it.
  • Reapply a fresh wrap once a year for optimal protection.
  • Add a circle of landscape cloth around the wrapped trunk of fruit trees as an added layer of protection.

Enjoy the beauty and function of your new tree from! We appreciate your business and the opportunity to sell gorgeous, healthy trees into communities across the United States.

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