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High Stakes: A Quick Guide to Wooden Garden Supports

Wooden supports form a crucial part of a wide range of gardening and landscaping projects. From protecting trees to erecting fencing to building lean-tos and other outdoor structures, the type, size and strength of the vertical supports you choose are key considerations.

Wood is a popular material for vertical supports because it is flexible, cost-effective and, when treated correctly, highly durable. Here, landscaping supplies specialist Suregreen talks us through the pros and cons of square-sawn wooden stakes, highlighting where they make a preferable choice compared to other types of wooden support.

A cheap alternative to fencing posts

When you are looking at wooden posts cut for fencing, you are often looking at substantial, heavy pieces of timber. When you are putting up a fence around, say, a livestock enclosure, or if you are putting up a palisade-style fence that will have considerable weight in it, it makes sense that you will need strong load-bearing supports.

But not all fences need to prioritise strength. Especially in the garden where you might want a waist-high picket purely for the aesthetic effect, big thick vertical supports are not only unnecessary, they look out of place.

Available in a range of pre-cut lengths, simple square-cut wooden stakes can make a fine alternative to fencing posts for decorative fencing and other non-load bearing uses. Their smaller size means you can save money on materials, while they are also easier to handle and much more straightforward to erect, not needing to be driven so deep into the ground as larger fencing posts.

Tree protection

Another very common use of wooden stakes is to protect trees. For the reasons already described, stakes make perfect supports for simple tree guards and shelters – they are low cost, flexible and easy to install. For younger trees, a single stake is often adequate to provide support for a shelter made out of wire or plastic mesh. For older, larger trees, stakes can be used as the frame for a simple protective enclosure.

If you are planting new trees as part of your landscaping project, it is also advisable to stake young saplings until they have grown sturdy enough to stand freely on their own. This is because movement caused by the wind can cause damage to the roots of a young tree, slowing down growth and potentially leaving it unstable. Staking is usually only necessary for the saplings of large trees.

For more information about alternative products more suited to larger scale agricultural and commercial projects, click here.

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