tree stabilizing
The method preferred by most landscape engineers for tree stabilization
tree staple

Research Behind Tree Staple

A Letter from Dr. Bruce Hamilton 
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Director, The Rutgers Garden
Rutgers University

In my course, Planning and Planting the Residential Environment, I show slides illustrating the deleterious effects of staking and tying. The most immediate problem of staking trees is the unsightliness of the stakes. More serious are the problems associated with not removing the ties. Once the landscape contractor completes the time consuming task of staking and guiding, he is done and the ties are left to girdle the plant as it grows.

A number of years ago a California study demonstrated that the swaying action of unstaked trees resulted in significant positive difference in trunk circumference growth over staked trees. Based upon that study and my own observations, I have been teaching 'use stakes but do not tie the trees to the stakes until they tilt'. 

This solution does not solve the problem of the ugliness of the stakes nor the time required to put them in place.

The staple method is quick and permits the tree to sway. The slides I took the day you conducted the demonstration will in the future be part of all my lectures on planting.


References to articles written on stabilizing:  

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers article explaining why staking and tying are no longer recommended for trees

Ohio State University Horticultural article noting disadvantages of staking and guying trees

Michigan State University Department of Horticulture article on how to prepare a plant for transplanting 

"New Techniques in Urban Tree Plantings" noting disadvantages of stake and wire by James Urban, ASCA, Urban and Associates, Annapolis, Maryland

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources article: "Should Newly Planted Trees Be Staked and Tied?" by William R. Chaney, Professor of Tree Physiology