We just had a house built, and in the front and back yards are baby trees. The trees are supported by a large, narrow piece of wood fastened to the tree trunk. A few weeks ago we had a terrible windstorm and now both baby trees are pointed at 45 degree angles. Should I bother digging a small hole and re-fastening the supporting wood to the baby trees or is there a more efficient way to fix them?

  • How big are the trees? I'm not picturing the support - how is it attached to the tree, what is the other end attached to, and how long is it? What kind of trees?
    – Ed Staub
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 15:36
  • 2
    Were the root balls shifted in the ground, or are the trunks just leaning? Look at the base of the tree - does it come out of the ground vertically, or is it at an angle? If it's angled, I suspect you need to dig out around the root ball and straighten them back up. Otherwise, I'd just re-tie them to the support.
    – Doresoom
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 16:03
  • Trees are about 8 feet tall, trunks are about 2" wide. A 6 foot tall piece of wood about the same width of the trunk is fastened to the trunk with green elastic tape. It used to be just buried a few inches in the ground until it was pulled out. Commented May 17, 2012 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


That piece of wood is not really providing any support to the tree and was probably encouraging poor growth. Most trees do not need staking and if they did it should be removed after a year. See this excellent post for more than you ever wanted to know about staking.

Most trees will live fifty to seventy five years outside of a forest so it is worth investing an hour of your time to straighten them now so you don't have to look at a crooked tree.

Depending on how securely they are rooted and the soil dig on the side they are leaning away from and the side they are leaning towards. Cut and fill as required.

This is also a good time to check for damage to the trunk. A healthy eight foot tree should not need staking unless it was recently planted. If you see breaks in the bark or long vertical wounds such as in this picture on the trunk consider cutting your losses and planting a new tree.

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