Trees often need stakes to hold them upright for the first growing season. For the best health and development of the tree, stakes should be removed by the beginning of the second growing season, and sometimes sooner. The ties which fasten trees to stakes can constrict bark growth and weaken or damage the trunk. Staked trees which were planted last year or earlier should be checked. Trees grow quickly in diameter and fasteners can begin to make indentations in the bark after only a few month’s growth. These indentations can weaken a tree so that is more easily broken in a storm. If left on until fasteners completely cut through the bark, they can kill a tree.
Paper or plastic wrap is sometimes placed around the trunk of larger trees to protect them in shipping. These should be removed at planting time. If they are still present on recently planted trees, remove them now.