Why Use a Tree Stake

The wind is back and if you haven’t staked your trees by now, then they are most certainly looking to worst for wears. February is also a windy time of the year as warm and cold fronts meet off the Atlantic coast

The strength of the wind is determined by:

  • The variation in pressure between the low & high system
  • The distance between the pressure systems
  • The distance from the pressure system
  • The rotation of the high & low pressure systems – whether they are anticyclonically or cyclonically

Wind speeds generally range between 5 and 10mph in Ireland, but when we are hit by a storm wind speeds can easily rise to 50, 60 or up to 100mph. This will have severe impact on established & newly planted trees. A tree stake is therefore essential to protect & anchor trees during this period. Even more established & fully grown trees can be blown over by wind speeds of 80mph. This is especially the case after periods of heavy rain when the ground in very soft. This can cause the tree’s roots to loosen their grip on the soil making them vulnerable in high winds
The West Coast of Ireland, from Donegal to Kerry & Cork see the worst of the winds, while the East Coast would generally experience calmer conditions. Wind direction follows that of the cyclone rotation in the Northern hemisphere which is West to East. Depending on the position of the low pressure system will determine if the wind is more Southerly or more Northerly
In February of 2014 the largest Popular tree in Ireland, which was said to be over 200 year old blew over in the stormy weather. Of course a tree of this size could not be staked, but no doubt it’s own great size was the cause of its demise. To add further woo, the tree was at that very moment in contention to be the European Tree of the Year for 2014
Trees can also be blown over if their canopy is top heavy. This becomes likely from late spring onwards as the trees canopy comes back to life and the foliage opens out. With a tree in full leaf the canopy will hold at lot more wind which can put extreme pressures on the tree’s root system. Therefore trees that are not staked before the summer months can be more vulnerable to this cause of tree damage leaving them poorly anchored or leaning in the ground
The constant force of the wind battering against trees, forcing them to sway back and fought in the wind can really takes its toll. Both young and established trees will experience severe root disturbance and lead to a period of stunted growth while the plant’s root system re-establishing. Damage to a tree’s roots will reduce water and nutrient uptake and can leave to tree exposed to otherwise benign pests & fungal attacks. So not only will a tree stake act to keep your tree standing straight and tall, but a tree stake is also there to prevent root disturbance & damage, to prevent canopy damage and lopsided growth