tree being blown around

Alan Stenson asked 9 years ago

i have a pauls scarlet for about 7 years. it flowers brilliantly but it never seems to have anchored itself properly. it has always been staked. last year i got a jcb to put down a post to support it to and it has been great but i know from the look of it that it is still not anchored. what can i do? it is about 11 foot tall

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 3 years ago
This is a common problem with standard trees and especially with decorative hawthorn trees. It occurs because the tree does not make strong anchor roots – due to twisted roots at planting, truncated roots and other forms of root damage.

The trick is to give enough support to prevent severe wind rocking and further root damage, but to allow enough movement to trigger the tree into trying ot make anchor roots and not just becoming dependent on a strong stake.

Usually staking low down, as you have done is the best trigger for roots, and have three strong stakes and the tree tied in the centre. Be careful to ensure that the ties do not cut the stem bark. Rubber pond liner  or folded plastic is very good for that.

Another approach, one that can be used in conjunction with staking, is to reduce the top weight of the tree, and its height, by pruning after flowering to reduce wind heave. 

Failing all the above, use three guy wire cables tied at the lowest branches back to 3 strong stakes. This can be a longterm solution. The wires are hardly visible.