staking a conifer to establish a straight leader

michaddict6(zone 6 MI.)June 21, 2012

Hi, I've just fallen for conifers so hard and two of the trees I bought this year I'd like to correct by staking. They're little guys(2 1/2 ft. in their pots)and bent over half their height. I'd like them to get taller before they start keeling over like they are.The nursery I got them from just said to go to a local nursery and they'd tell me how. No nursery around here I can trust so I thought someone on this forum could give me a lesson, please.What materials do I use and how without snapping off the top half or breaking the needles.How long do I leave it and how do I get to them when they get tall? Anything else you can think of. Thank you, Val

Calocedrus decurrens 'Aureovariegata'

Sequoiadendron giganteum Pendulum

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

A pic of the plants would be needed for specific advice.


Here is a link that might be useful: How to post a pic

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 1:09AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

The pot has to be deep enough to support the stake that will in turn support the main leader you are trying to grow vertical. I assume you are dealing with 1 gal. plastic pots. To do this right you need to get them in the ground. Drive stake next to main leader deep enough so it will support itself. If the wood is pliable enough pull to vertical with a loose tie. If wood has taken a set them pull leader back to vertical in increments otherwise you will break the portion that you want to correct. A year on the stake through growing season should be enough. You will have to determine this by cutting the tape to see if it stands on its own.

Your source for materials: Go to your local nursery and buy a couple of plastic covered round stakes. They come in various thickness. The smallest... in your case...1/4" in thickness. You will also need a roll of 1/4" wide plastic stretch tape.

Piece of cake.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:43AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


welcome here

and to the addiction ...

where are you in MI ... i am down in adrian mi ..

i am not sure that either of your selections will survive MI ... i suspect you are in metro detroit with the z6 info ...

what are your plans for these two?? potted.. or in the ground ..???

july/august is not the best time for planting conifers in MI ... because usually.. they are severely root bound.. and root surgery is needed .. and that is best done.. as they approach dormancy in mid fall ... and i feel this is very important for a newbie .. rather than one with vast experience who can handle all the proper aftercare ...

as above ... we need a picture or two.. to be more definitive .. than just saying.. insert stake.. and bind that sucker up ... and dont pull so hard it breaks .. forget about individual needles.. they are shed so any damage to a few of those.. is not relevant.. i the long run ...

more info please


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:43AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)


This is not rocket science. The specifics are there to accomplish the intended desire to stake a small conifer. There is no more room to be definitive. I covered the initial question.

All other questions you asked have worth and should be addressed. Hopefully they will.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 9:09AM
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michaddict6(zone 6 MI.)

dcsteg, Thanks-just what I wanted. I need to get the poor babies into the ground, don't I? I don't know what to do about the rootbound issue. Maybe they aren't rootbound.I'm sure they are hardy-I checked with different sources before I ordered them.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:29AM
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