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The Importance of Tree Anchors

Duckbill Earth Anchor

Many trees grow tall and strong without any assistance or support. However, there are many instances when trees need anchoring to provide additional reinforcement. Tree anchors consist of a blanket that goes over the root ball and connects to several stakes and ties. Once the ties are tensioned, the blanket holds the root ball firmly in place.

One example of industrial-strength tree anchors are duckbill earth anchors, which use a toggle principle to work. Duckbill earth anchors are driven to the desired depth in the soil with a hammer and drive steel, and then a wire rope is attached to the anchor and pulled up to set the duckbill anchor into a perpendicular position. Bigger anchors for larger trees may require the use of a hydraulic or manual winch, jack or a post puller.

Another brand of tree anchor systems is ArborTie products, which include equipment for large and small trees. The ArborTie products include webbing that is approximately ¾ inches wide with strength of over 900lbs through tension. This webbing is designed to protect the bark and the stakes are made from steel for use even in rocky soils. ArborTie also sells individual tree anchor components, such as webbing that will work with any anchoring system or individual anchors. The ArborTie earth anchors are reusable and can be installed without drive rods. The ArborTie earth anchors are helical, also called steel eye, and are about 30 inches in length.

One other important format when it comes to providing tree support is called tree guying. This process keeps the root ball firmly in position until the roots grow enough to hold the root ball in place on their own.

According to an article by Colorado State University, there are two proper methods to tree guying:

Nylon Strap – For this method, wide nylon straps are recommended, attached to tree guys positioned within 18 inches of the ground. The trunk should still be able to move several inches in any direction and the stakes should be set in a parallel position in the direction of the wind. This system should be left in place no more than one year, after which the posts should be removed from the ground to help prevent damage to the roots.

Dowel Method – This method involves driving two or three wood dowels down through the root ball and into the soil below. Such a method stabilizes the root ball and holds it into place as needed to support the tree.

For more information about the proper type of tree anchor system for your property, contact your local nursery or college/university agricultural extension.

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