Compared to un-staked trees, staked trees will:
A tree that has been staked too long may not be able to support itself after the stakes have been removed. Notice how the trunk is the same diameter along it’s entire length.
The tree at the right exhibits proper taper; larger diameter at the bottom, then slowly tapering to a smaller diameter near the top.
Reverse trunk taper may be a consequence of staking too long.
Research has shown that when trees are staked for too long their root systems may not be as extensive as they normally would be. Trunk movement signals the lower trunk and roots to produce increased growth. A better trunk taper and root system results.
These staked trees have broken off just above the point of support. Staked trees cannot “flex” in the wind as well as un-staked trees.