Tree Stakes

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    jennifer Bloch

    Hello People,

    Does anyone have experience with 

    Tomahawk Tree Stabilizers?




    looks like the 

    jennifer Bloch

    Yes – looks like the same technology. Do you have any firsthand experience with these Toby? Wondering if they are as reliable as stakes and guy wires?  Thanks!


    guy wires alone imo can be dangerous.

    staking might be better, but only if the poles are in the undisturbed soil outside of the rootball and backfill. i’ve seen more tilted 2-staked trees that can never be righted.  3-stake trees are somewhat better long term.

    the stake on container trees is there to lend strength to an undersized trunk with an oversized canopy. get rid of it asap, even if the canopy needs to be lightened and some mid height stake-to-tree has to be added to keep it upright. better is to get trees that don’t need that trunk stake at all.

    this is a white oak, and i had nothing to do with it.

    the staples rely on a solid rootball and solid ground around it.  you might have trouble on sandy soil, but they will work nicely on trees that are for the most part self-supporting.  the staples won’t prevent wind loading a self-supporting young tree to breaking point, so no matter what, stakes might be necessary for a while. 

    backfilling the pit properly is most important.  convince whom ever is backfilling to use a sledge hammer to pound the soil down in 3 inch lifts. 

    NEVER dig the pit deeper than the rootball minus two to three inches, or wider than the rootball + a foot.  if it’s too deep and backfilled, the partially compacted soil below will compact over time and the tree will sink. and tilt.



    jennifer Bloch

    Thanks Toby.

    Rob Halpern

    While staking trees is most often not best for the long term health of the tree, it is still advised in some situations. For small tree, the stakes can make up for the root system that ought to stabilize the tree.

    But with a 96″Box tree, I can’t imagine that, in the event of a huge wind event, the stakes are going to stabilize the tree.

    jennifer Bloch

    I think the same Rob. Thanks.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    ISA staking guidelines for trees over 3″ caliper show them to be cabled down to a stake or anchor at about a 60 degree angle with 1/2″ hose protecting the tree and surveyors flagging tied to the cables to make them visible. The 96″ crate would indicate that the tree is more than 3″ caliper

    Vertical posts with the tree tied to them horizontally are recommended for trees under 3″ caliper.


    You might be able to get a dwg detail from their website – International Society of Arboriculture



    jennifer Bloch

    Thank you so very much Andrew.



    As a  future reference we manufacture a reusable below grade tree staking system, that is gaining allot of popularity in DFW and Houston. ‘Our Safety Stake Root Anchor’ has been installed on several projects at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Univ. of North Texas, TCU and Baylor Univ. along with 100’s of other projects. PDF drawings are available on the website and please call or emailfor Reference List, Technical and Installation Drawings . 



    Thanks, Jeff Tuley

    Chad Weinand

    IMHO, I do not think these are a good solution for the simple fact that, if installed as detailed on the manufacturers website, only the soil is stabilized and not the root structure of the tree.  Therefore, when the wind blows, it causes the tree to rock back and forth, pulling on all of the roots attached to the tree, which means the smallest roots are being dislodged from the main roots.  And since the smaller roots are the most numerous and are the ones doing a lot of the moisture and nutrient uptake for the tree, not having them will cause the tree to be slower to establish or worse, die.  So I am currently rejecting these that were subbed out for the traditional stake and wire method for this reason, contractor subbed them without approving.  I think the legal or dangerous aspect of the stake and wire system is ridiculous, although, supposedly, someone sued WalMart for injuries sustained on their property from traditional tree staking and won.  I would ask what they were doing in the landscape or lawn area and what damage they may have caused there, and I would also say shame on the legal system for setting this precidence.

    Jason T. Radice

    Most trees don’t need staking at all if planted properly. Most of the time it isn’t done right anyway, and just ends up hurting the tree.

    Goustan BODIN

    I back-up Andrew : saw the drawing specs on ISA website (they provide PDF and CAD if I remember well) +  matches the field practice when I was doing planting.

    Ernst Glaeser

    Hi Jason, I got to disagree here. No matter if bare-rooted, container grown, or root-balled, no matter if just the calliper of a pencil or a mature Methusalem, as long as the tree is exposed to the wind this movement caused to the root system will disturbe the new growth of the adventive roots and with that harm the plant. The root system and the trunk have to be fixed to the ground until the tree is established. The way to do it and the length of period for it to stay is more an asthetic issue.

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