Stake trees only if needed to protect or support the trunk or anchor the root ball during the first year or so after planting. Do not fasten trunks firmly; they must be allowed to flex some with the wind in order to develop stem strength.
To determine the proper staking height of trunks that cannot stand upright without support, hold the lower part of the trunk in one hand, bend the top of the trunk to one side, then release the top. Locate the ties about 6 inches above the lowest level at which the trunk can be held and still return upright after the top is deflected.
Ties should be flexible or elastic and form a loose loop around the trunk. One way is to use two sections of rubber tubing, each about 18 inches long, attached to opposite posts. Circle each tie around the trunk, cross the ends to form a figure 8 then attach the free ends of the tie to the stake. Another method is to use two ties, each attached to both posts. Overlap the ties twice, once on each side of the trunk between the trunk and each post. Remove any staking after a year or so; if the trunk is then unable to stand alone, determine the cause before restaking.