Tree support without a stake

arkberry(8b)October 13, 2012

Enjoyed reading about supporting the pummelo fruit, but I have a different support question. I have a Meyer and satsuma that are in containers and the developing fruit has the plants leaning a lot. I know there are some on the forum who are against staking the trees. Should I just wait o pick the fruit and adjust the plant in the 511 mix, stake it, or something I am missing?

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Stake a young tree heavy with fruit. Especially a container tree. Most of the recommendations for not staking a tree are in reference to a tree in the ground. I only stake my very young trees that have thin trunks, as we can get some very wicked Santa Ana winds here, that can snap a young tree, especially one with heavy fruit. I stake loosely, so the trunk still gets a fair amount of flex, which is what stimulates the trunk to thicken up. Then, un-stake as soon as I think is is safe to do so, depending upon the tree's location in my yard.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:49PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

And then there are the stakes that plants are equipped with for shipment. They are strapped around the trunks of the poor trees in a literal choke hold and should be removed ASAP. Staking, if necessary at all, should be rather loose so that the tree can actually sway and move a little bit.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 11:44PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Rhizo makes a good point. Never leave that stake in with the tree. It's there just to protect the tree from getting smooshed or snapped during shipment. Much better to put one or two stakes in, then stake loosely. It is very important for any tree - container or in-ground - to have trunk flex. It is the trunk flexing that stimulates the thickening of the trunk, as a protective mechanism to protecting that tree from snapping in the wind. Some situations and trees need a little protection in the beginning. Eventually you will be able to and should remove all staking.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Can you post a picture of your Meyer and tell us how old it is and on what rootstock? We could give you much better answers.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 11:00PM
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