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  • Does wind strengthen trees?

    Will new 1 or 2 gal potted trees become stronger if the leaf is constantly moving from a breeze? Obviously not tornado wind but light movements of the plant...
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

  • #2
    Yes, this why staking trees can be a mistake. They are better anchored and stronger when they are flapping in breeze. They build stronger wood to combat the wind when left free.

    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Staking and training young fig trees for the 1st year actually helps develop stronger main trunks and structure for future scaffold branches. New fig growth is usually soft and flexible which will result in the loss of apical dominance, leaning main trunks and sprawling spindly growth with multiple branches if not staked and trained early. After the wood is lignified the stakes can be removed.

  • #3
    Scott is right. Trees that are staked will use it as a crutch. Unstaked trees will root farther to support the tree than a staked tree.
    Gary USDA 9A
    Sebastopol, CA

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    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      The issue of not staking trees is more applicable to older trees and transplanted trees, http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20cha...hs/Staking.pdf . For growing out fig cuttings and young fig trees staking is the best way to develop straight main trunks and or main scaffolds.

  • #4
    Grazie...

    I only 1 steak tree and is air layer now. Sometime I worry because I treat all the baby tree like baby and think they get ruined in wind. But now I feel better. Thanks you again
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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    • #5
      Originally posted by figgary View Post
      Scott is right. Trees that are staked will use it as a crutch. Unstaked trees will root farther to support the tree than a staked tree.
      I agree 100%
      Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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      • #6
        My in ground orange trees rarely get any wind in my greenhouses and I don't see any problems with them. Now I'm planting figs inside too.
        Last edited by Hershell; 05-15-2015, 06:36 AM.
        Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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        • #7
          I sense people are talking about two different things here. I have to agree with Pete to a limited extent. I have young trees that could end up growing in a U shape if I don't stake them to keep them upright. So I think a single bamboo stake to make a straight main trunk is correct as far as it goes. It may be true that staking spoils the tree and if I can avoid it I do. Fabio, you can also add Dyna-Gro Pro-tekt Silica to your fertilizer regimen, as I do. This will make your tree harden off sooner and grow stronger, especially young, tender growth on a single trunk, 1st or 2nd year tree.
          Rafael
          Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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          • #8
            I stake my trees for the first year after root-pruning / repotting unless they are small trees... but I am a heavy root pruner. Freshly rooted cuttings usually has root growth to effectively anchor the tree as it grows.

            Last year, we drove up Mt. Evans. There were a bunch of trees which were twisted. The ranger said as the wind blows and catches the leaves, it turns the branches. The wood that forms the trunk compresses which strengthens the tree.
            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
            Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
            N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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            • #9
              I always thought the main reason to stake young trees was to prevent the tender roots from being damaged as the trunk gets pushed around in the breeze. Therefore I always staked fairly low on the tree to keep the trunk stable in the ground. That said I have not staked my potted figs, only my in ground fruit trees.
              Phil
              Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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              • #10
                Okay but... Should I use steak only on long slender top growth only type trees or use it even on shorter stumpy hardened off multi trunk sprout trees as well?
                Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                • #11
                  Staking young fig trees is simply a way of training them to the desired shape and the stakes are removed after the trained branches are lignified (hardened), usually in the 1st year.


                  As far as staking other trees,
                  http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20cha...hs/Staking.pdf ,

                  The Bottom Line

                  • Most containerized and correctly dug B&B materials do not need staking; bare root trees often do.

                  • If trees must be staked, place stakes as low as possible but no higher than 2/3 the height of the tree.

                  • Materials used to tie the tree to the stake should be flexible and allow for movement all the way down to the ground so that trunk taper develops correctly.

                  • Remove all staking material after roots have established. This can be as early as a few months, but should be no longer than one growing season

                  • Materials used for permanent tree protection should never be attached to the tree.
                  Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                  • #12
                    I believe in my case only all but one of my potted trees have hardened trunks. They all grow from hardened cutting so they are solid. The only one steaked is a 3.5 foot top growth only slender tree which I am air layer now. Once layer finish I will remove steak. Maybe I reword my question.

                    Do wind/breeze/movement help or not matter to new leaf or new branches off hardened trunk. I concerned because sometime is not gentel breeze but heavy breeze. I'm sure big wind is no good for them but to where the leaf blow around. More than light movement less than blowing over.
                    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                    • #13
                      In a sense, we are talking about 2 different forms of hardening off here. Putting any young plant in some form of wind(excess wind to start out would be bad) will result in the plant making/becoming more fiber(ous) throughout and being resilient to the wind and heavy rain. Complete lignification where the outer green bark layer turns brown..I'm not sure, but I don't think wind affects this. It is plenty windy here and much of my trees new growth doesn't entirely harden-off or lignify until the last month before they go into storage.
                      My thoughts on staking, which is just repeating what was said and quoted above. If the tree was bare rooted or isn't well rooted into the ground and the entire plant including the main trunk at ground level moves with the wind, then you have to stake it so it can better set roots into the ground. If the plant has lanky tender top growth from growing inside, you have to stake at least portion of that overly tender growth so it doesn't break off. I only stake a tree when I have too, and for me that is when I am dealing with a repotted bare rooted tree. I don't let my treelings get lanky top growth so that isn't a problem I have to address unless someone sends me a tree with that going on; and usually I would prune off the lanky gabage to the height I want stout branches to start growing.
                      Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                      Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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                      • #14
                        Cal, are you saying you pinch the tip of a single trunk young tree to discourage lanky upright growth?
                        Rafael
                        Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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                        • greenfig
                          greenfig commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That’s what I do when the plants are 1.5 ft tall. The shape that develops is very suitable for containers. I wouldn’t do this for the in ground trees though if you want a tree shape

                        • cis4elk
                          cis4elk commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Maybe. Usually not though.
                          I give them enough light to discourage streching to begin with, or put them in front of a open window or patio door so wind gusts will give them motion(a fan works the same), or lightly bend the stem by gently pushing on it with my thumb into a gap between my index and middle finger. The pushing/bending stops streching instantly but can be a bit tricky to get the hang of. I usually save the pinching for when they are bigger, instead I wait until I can remove a larger piece(4-6") to encourage side branching. Then you get a nice cutting to boot.
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