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Efficacy of Conventional Tree Stabilization Systems and their Effect on Short-Term Tree Development
Arboriculture & Urban Forestry (2009)
  • Alexis A Alvey
  • P Eric Wiseman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Brian C.P. Kane, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

We evaluated three conventional tree stabilization systems (staking, guying, and root ball anchoring) on 6.4 cm (2.5 in) caliper field-grown, balled and burlapped white ash (Fraxinus americana L. ‘Autumn Purple’). At five weeks and at seven months after planting, performance of the stabilization systems was evaluated under ambient wind conditions as well as wind-simulating pull tests. Nonstabilized ash trees remained upright during both the 5-week and 7-month studies despite occasionally substantial wind gusts. From the pull tests, the study found the stabilization systems performed equally well and that even nonstabilized ash trees were tolerant of moderate to heavy wind loads. Stabilization systems differed in the maximum force they endured before component failure. The guying system withstood forces 1.7 to 2.5 times greater than the root ball anchoring and staking systems, respectively. Stabilization system components were very durable during the first growing season and did not substantially impact tree height growth, shoot elongation, root diameter, root length, or root mass seven months after planting. After one growing season, both nonstabilized and previously stabilized trees remained upright until unrealistically large loads were applied. Practical implications for landscape tree management are discussed.

  • Anchoring,
  • Guying,
  • Planting,
  • Pull Tests,
  • Staking,
  • Tree Stabilization,
  • Tree Support,
  • Wind
Publication Date
Citation Information
Alexis A Alvey, P Eric Wiseman and Brian C.P. Kane. "Efficacy of Conventional Tree Stabilization Systems and their Effect on Short-Term Tree Development" Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Vol. 35 Iss. 3 (2009)
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