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A sapling being tied to an upright stake with fabric ties

Overview

Staking plants helps your trees, flowers and vegetables by giving them support and protection. It also helps train them to grow in the right direction. Find out where and how deep to put the stake, plus how to choose the right ties for your plants. 

Tools and materials

Steps

1Choose the right sort of ties

Before you start staking your plants, it's important to choose the right kind of ties. Soft ties are ideal for gentler plants. Chain ties are suitable for small trees on a stake, like roses because they grow fast and can be easily adjusted as the branches grow and expand. Fabric ties are ideal for most plants. We're using fabric ties for our lemon tree because they give it the right amount of support but also the flexibility to move and grow.

A Bunnings team member cutting lengths of fabric ties for securing young trees to a stake

2Choose a position for your stake

To decide where the stake will go, have a look at the plant to see which way it is leaning. This is especially important in windy areas. If the plant is leaning to the left or the wind is blowing to the left, put the stake on the right side of the plant to help it grow straight. It's best to put your stake in when you're planting the tree, while the soil is soft, so that you don't damage the roots.

A freshly planted young tree surrounded by mulch, but without a stake in place next to it

3Hammer in the stake

Use the hammer to drive the stake into the ground so that it's 30 to 40 centimetres deep. Give it a good hit so that it's nice and firm. If the stake has splinters, wear gloves when hammering it in. 

A stake being hammered into the ground next to a young tree

4Tie the plant to the stake

Cut the fabric tie with scissors. It's better to be too long than too short. Secure the first tie near the bottom of the tree, where the tree starts to fork out into branches. This will help to straighten up the branches on the tree. Wrap the fabric tie around the tree and the stake twice, and tie it off using a bow. This way you can easily untie and attach it somewhere else on the tree.
A sapling being tied to an upright stake with fabric ties

5Attach more ties to the tree

If your tree is tall, it may need more than one tie to secure it to the stake and to keep it growing straight. Repeat the above step to secure the ties. Check on your plants regularly, and add additional ties when they grow. Add the ties about 15-20 centimetres apart. Make sure you secure the tie to the stake and not the plant.

A young tree tied to a stake in a large garden bed
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.