The following describes acceptable staking techniques for young trees. Frequently, young saplings arrive in pots with a supporting stake. Upon planting, this stake needs to be carefully removed and replaced with proper Lodge Poll stakes inserted vertically, well outside the root ball and disturbed soil so as to be structural enough to support the tree. The Lodge Pole depth can range from 1.5’ – 2.5’ depending on the soil compaction, tree size, and situation. To get the depth required, an auger bit can be used to partially bore the holes for poles, then drive the poles to the needed depth.
The stakes should be as far away from the trunk as possible for better anchorage and to avoid root damage. Inserted near the trunk and angled outward is wrong. The concept is that the stakes add structural strength to anchoring the tree when the roots are not adequate. They add little to no extra strength if they are in or near the root ball and can damage the roots. If wind is known to be a problem, use 3 stakes. If the stakes keep breaking or pulling free, use longer metal stakes. In high wind areas, the stakes should be at least 2′ in the ground, 3′ for the metal poles. Deeper if the ground is soft. The stakes must be stronger and anchored better than the tree.