Graft Support

Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady LakeAugust 4, 2012

When I first purchased my tangerine (mandarin), it had a thin steel rod along it's trunk for added support. Being a total and complete newbie, I cut the twine and, not being a complete idiot, slowly moved my hand away. The trunk started to sag and bend, so I tied some new twine around the trunk and rod. I gave it about three months and then cut the twine again and again slowly moved my hand away. This time the tree stayed erect and has continued to stand tall (3-4 ft) since then. It even took the fairly strong winds of Debby as she passed through. But... as hurricane season starts to kick in to full swing, I'm wondering if I should put that rod back into place to help support the graft point in the chance of even higher winds.

Opinions and suggestions welcomed. Thank you.

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johnmerr(11)

IMO staking a tree only guarantees that one day it will fall. Without the regular bending of the trunk, it will not get stronger (it's called Sphygmomorphogenesis, if you have a very big dictionary). Having been through 4 Category 5 hurricanes in my life... some say REALLY bad luck... I know that almost nothing withstands that force wind. In event of such winds I would opt for 3 to 4 steel posts driven into the ground around the tree and then a light rope tied around them to prevent the tree from breaking off in the wind...or as happened to me a couple of times ... totally disappearing only to be found a block away or more.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Yeah, I still remember Hugo blowing through my town. He was kind enough to only relocate our shed out back, but left our house intact. Of course, the neighbor two houses down wasn't too happy about having a shed in his pool, but those are the breaks. The really cool part was that everything that was inside the shed was still there on the pad and on their shelves, minus anything lightweight enough to be blown around by your average wind.

Okay, so I'll get two more stakes and keep them on-hand, just in case. Thanks for the suggestion and the information about Sphygmo morphogenesis. I understand how morphogenesis plays into it, but not so much the sphygmo side of things. Looking up the two terms, sphygmo means pulse and moprhogenesis is the formation of tissue, so the formation of tissue by pulse or in other words, the formation of trunk tissue by the constant movement of the tree... okay, now that sounds more applicable. It is sometimes amazing how we can answer our own questions just simply by thinking (and typing) it out.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:32AM
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johnmerr(11)

It's really no different than pumping iron to grow muscles/strength. The more the twig bends, the stronger it gets.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:38PM
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