Tree Staking Information

Click here for a printable (pdf) copy of this information

Our City Forest (OCF) provides either 2 or 3 wood stakes or 1 green metal ReddyTM Stake with each tree to provide temporary support while the tree becomes established and should be removed within 2 - 3 years. After the tree is well rooted, residents are expected to return the stake to OCF so they can be REUSED on other trees.


reddy stakesWe use ReddyTM Stakes because they are:  

   • Easy to install

   • Adjustable

   • Reusable

   • Easy to transport
     (only one needed per tree)


How do I install the ReddyTM Stake?

The stake should be installed with the tie at the lowest point on the trunk possible while the top of the tree is still held upright. Upright does not have to be absolutely vertical and in most cases it will not be. Contact OCF for step-by-step ReddyTM Stake Installation instructions.

What about the nursery stake?

Often trees arrive with stakes supporting them in the container. These stakes must be removed upon planting, as they do not provide the trees the mobility they need to become established above and below ground.



As the tree grows...

it may be necessary to adjust the stake. To adjust the stake simply loosen the bolt on the ‘T’ bar with a wrench. Then raise or lower the bar as needed.

Keep in mind: The ties should provide enough slack so the tree is free to move in the wind.


reddy stake

How long will the tree need the stake?

For most young trees the stake is needed to support the tree for about 1 or 2 years, but should not be on longer than 3 years if it has received the proper care and stewardship.

The ultimate goal is to remove the staking as soon as possible so that your tree does not become too dependent on the stake for support. The better care your young tree receives the sooner your stake can be removed.

Leaving the stake on the tree for longer than necessary or staking the tree too tightly can prevent the tree from becoming adequately rooted in the ground; it can also limit the development of trunk strength necessary for the tree to support itself.


How can I tell when the stake is ready to be removed?

Once you think your tree is ready for the ReddyTM Stake to be removed, firmly grasp the base of the trunk and shake the trunk. If the rooball or ground moves as you shake the tree, then the stake is NOT ready to be removed. If the tree is rooted in the ground, the soil will not move when you shake the tree, which shows the stake is ready to be removed.

Click here to see our complete step-by-step ReddyTM Stake Removal Instructions.


What do I do with the stake after my tree does not need it?

OCF reuses the tree stakes we provide on other newly planted trees. It is important that you contact us when you feel that the staking may be ready to be removed so we can provide instructions for returning the stakes to ocf. (408-99-TREES)



Tree stakes can potentially cause:
Physical damage and death if staked too firmly or if the stake is left in too long.
Please do not tighten the ties or install additional ties to the stake(s) after it has been installed. If you are concerned about the tree’s support please contact OCF for consulta­tion/assistance. (408-99-TREES)

Contact Us

(408) 998-7337
1590 Las Plumas Ave
San Jose, CA 95133
Nursery: 1000 Spring St.