Staked tree for too long?

adajiatr Crozet, VA 1m ago

May 31, 2020

I bought a persimmon tree a couple years ago, when it was about 4 feet tall, planted it and protected it from deer with small fence circling it. Removed fence today; tree now 6 - 7 feet. Branches had been growing through the fence. The trunk has several big bends in it, and the tree looks like it might be blown down in a strong wind, or will just droop badly forever. I fear I kept it staked (far) too long. See picture. Wondering what I should do. If I should stake it – the present configuration is just temporary – how, exactly? Any advice appreciated.


Attach a higher stake to the t-post and tie it up. It might take a year or two to get strong enough not to bend over.


Thanks much. How high do you think that (new) stake should be?

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How much and how often have you fertilized your tree?

How much sun does it get?

One option would be to use a tall 1/2 pvc electric conduit as a stake. It is strong enough to offer some support , yet bends in the wind , allowing the tree to toughen up.
Use something soft to tie it to the stake , strips of fabric ,etc…


If it were my tree I would use the cheap 1/2’ metal conduit from Home depot. Then loose wrap with electrical tape. I would attach the entire height.

Hi mamuang, Never. Gets maybe 6 - 8 hours/day.

I asked because the way your tree has grown it made me wonder if it got too much fertilizer (even planted on very fertile soil) or lack of sun.

Since you don’t fertilize and the tree gets enough sun, not sure why it has grown like that. My trees that are in cages may have some side branches affected but their main trunks grow normally without any need for staking.

Hillybillyhort, Thanks.

Auburn, thank you.

That string is going to scratch your bark all up, too. Time to go with that.

When you have trees that far bent, you need to (it’s fact and Guy Sternberg American tree author) told me you need to pull it back twice as far as it’s already bent the other direction. And that’s what I’ve always done.

You can use your green one that’s already there. I’ve represent (2) stakes. Red is stake #1 that you can reuse your metal green post but wherever bark touches something I place a 2" x 2" or 4" x 4" piece of thick towel (garage towels) between. This allows for breathing and no-injury to the tree.

Stake #2 being blue is much taller and you’re going to bend the rest of your tree that “farther back” and attach. Use flagging tape/florist’s tape.

Leave in place for at least two years.




Barkslip, thanks.

Lighten up the top- consider how your permanent scaffolds will be and at least remove top branches pointing the same direction as others so none are shading another. Generally you need 3-4 ft between tiers in a central leader tree with not more than 3-4 branches per tier.

Normally I don’t remove anything but branches more than a third to half the diameter of the trunk where they attach, but your tree is top heavy and the top may be starving out growth of your first tier. .

Alan, Thanks.

I should have said I normally remove what I mentioned only until tree reaches the size to bear a good crop. That is usually the best time to prune for the permanent set of scaffolds because the more you prune the longer a tree takes to establish. If you go to guides I explain this in the pruning guide I posted there.