Our recently purchased crape myrtle trees are firmly tied to a stake They are about 6 feet tall with smooth trunks and new growth from small branches about five feet above ground. They are leafing out just fine, but, we need to loosen the trunks from the support pole. How do we do this without subjecting the top growth from potential wind damage? I am thinking we could put stakes away from the root area and use garden tape to hold the trees stable from wind if we use 3 evenly spaced stakes around each tree. Or is this inadvisable. If so, what would work? The trees are somewhat close to the house, but subject to wind if it is strong. I do need to take the tape off that is now keeping the trees erect, as it is very tightly wrapped around the stake and tree truck about every 12 inches up the trunk.
Staking Crepe Myrtle Trees
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
These should, definitely, be removed. They need to be subjected to windy conditions in order to develop a strong structure, and keeping it staked too long will sort of trick it into not being as strong. I would start by taking the support out, and making sure that it can stand upright on its own. If it can, then it will need to remain like that. If the wind does happen to break it, it will recover. This is normal damage, and will only promote branching. I think it should be able to withstand winds on its own, though.