Tel: 608-838-3290

A Large Tree Nursery in Madison, WI


Stabilizing your Tree

Newly transplanted trees may need protection from upset caused by wind, especially the first week that it is being heavily watered. Here are pictures of various steps in the process.

Above is a properly staked tree

Trees are best stabilized by 2-3 foot long earth screws (or earth anchors), see photo below. Never use unsightly “t” posts with ropes tied to the top. This introduces laxity (wiggle).

30" and 15" long earth screws and a yardstick for perspective

Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 earth screws (also called earth anchors) ($5 or $7 a piece at Farm and Fleet 9/2016)
  • 30-40 feet of 3/8" yellow hollow polypropylene rope ($0.17/ft or a 50ft package for $6.79 at Farm and Fleet 9/2016)
  • 3 pieces of old hose (about 1 foot each) to prevent the rope from rubbing the tree

Approximately 1-2 feet outside the root ball, slant the earth screws  towards your tree, at a point about 6-7 feet above the ground. Now drive (twist) it 2/3 of its length into the ground.  Now tie off your tree.

Use a    {     clove hitch        wrong name }  around the tree trunk, and three single knots at the bottom (see photo#3 and #4)

By saving 1/3 of the length of the screw for future tightening, simply twist, you need not re-tie your knots.

Your first earth screw should be placed to offer maximum protection from the prevailing winds, the next two should be placed equidistant from the first, outside the dirt-ball.

The use of 6 strand polypropelene rope  (hollow core) 3/8 inch diameter is preferred to 7 strand rope as the knots will hold better.

The use of yellow (high visibility) rope is suggested for protection from legal claims.

Remove the support just before freeze-up. The frost will protect the tree from upset, and leaving support on the tree past winter is akin to leaving a splint on a bone.

The earth screw  is most easily removed before frost is in the ground, and  this removes the risk of trip hazard concealed by snows.