How to Remove Tree Stakes

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While trees generally need stakes to keep them upright for the first season after planting, they should be removed after one to two years so that the tree continues to grow and thrive. The ties used to fasten the stakes to trees can cause indentations in the tree if left on. Such indentations can significantly weaken a tree and constrict bark growth. The tree can also get strangled if stakes are left on too long, which can upset the flow of water and nutrients in the tree. This can also cause weak spots. Trees are usually tied to a wooden stake attached with string to a metal clamp around the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Gardening shovel
  • Walk around the staked tree. Look for indications the tree is over a year old or more, such as indentations in the wood from the stakes.

  • Measure the tree's width and height, using a measuring tape. If the tree is over 6 feet tall and or thinner than 1 inch, it should not need stakes.

  • Untie the tree from its clamp and dig out the wooden stake from its place in the ground with a shovel. Remove the metal clamp from the tree. The tree can now sway in the wind, which will help the trunk become stronger and wider.

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