Thank you for an interesting question.
Please keep in mind that this answer is for information purposes only,
and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace advice from your
County extension office or nursery.
Your local extension office can be a great gardening/agricultural resource.
Wind will dry out moisture from the soil fast so make sure they are
receiving a sufficient water supply.
Normally after planting, a stake is put in to support the tree and it
is put very close to the tree trunk. Under *normal* conditions this
is frequently not needed because the natural movement of the trunk by
the wind actually stimulates root growth.
But... under windy condtions staking may be needed for the first few
seasons. Use the multiple staking technique, which means 2 or 3
stakes will be put in the ground (not right up close to the trunk)
about 1.5 feet from the trunk. Wire is covered with rubber hose to
protect the bark from damage (or straps) is then wrapped around the
stakes helping the tree to move back and forth during windy condtions
and supporting the tree.
Allow enough slack in the guy wire for some trunk movement.
Staking and Tying
If your tree came with a nursery stake (a thin stake attached to the
tree trunk) remove it to enable the tree to get strong.
If the trunk bends over, stake it with two large stakes, each about 18
inches from the trunk. If your tree can easily support itself, do not
stake it. If you stake your tree, periodically check the stakes and
ties to ensure that they are not harming the trunk or branches. The
sooner you remove the stakes and ties, the stronger the tree will be.
Loosening ties and checking stakes
"Check the stake and the tie. Is the tie too tight? The tree stem
should not be under pressure from the tie, and should not rub against
the stake or guard.
Does the tree still need a stake? A young tree should only need a one
until its roots have grown into undisturbed soil to give it stability,
which generally takes a year. Check this in spring by releasing the
tie and if the tree stays upright, remove the stake.
If the tree leans and the roots move, re-tie it to a shortened stake.
If the tree is top heavy and bends over, shorten the stake (to just
above the bend) and replace the tie at the top of the stake to ensure
the stem stands upright."
See images on this page:
"Experts no longer recommend staking young trees at planting time
unless they're growing in a windy area. If that's the case, pound a
stake on the windward side, but remove it once the tree becomes
established--in a year or two at the most.
Trees may be staked in several ways. A common method is to use short
plastic stakes and guide wires. Pound the stakes into the soil at an
angle, with the wire or rope attached. Protect the trunk by covering
the wires with a piece of garden hose where they touch the bark. Place
the hose-covered wire above a crotch on the trunk to prevent its
slipping down. Check the wire every month to make sure it isn't
cutting into the bark, slipping or damaging the young tree in any way.
Leave the guide wires a little loose when you stake a tree to permit
the tree to move slightly in the wind. This will strengthen the roots.
If you use a stake instead of guide wires, make sure it's long enough
to reach the crown of the tree. Place the straps around a crotch so
they won't slip down the trunk. Never drive a stake through the roots
of a young tree. Instead, pound the stake outside the drip line (an
imaginary line on the ground corresponding to the outer edges of the
tree's crown). Use pieces of hose to protect the bark."
Do not prune after planting, because nursery trees should already be
properly pruned and usually need no further pruning when planted.
Windy conditions will beat up a young tree a lot faster than an older
tree. What you want to do is prune the trees so the wind has a chance
to blow *through* the tree and that will prevent a lot of damage.
That type of pruning is
However, strong winds can pull huge and seemingly healthy trees right
out of the ground so there is no guarantee.
Pruning of newly planted trees should be limited to corrective
pruning. By removing torn or broken branches. Save other pruning
measures for the second or third year.
The belief that trees should be pruned when planted to compensate for
root loss is not correct.
Trees need their leaves and shoot tips to provide food and the
substances which stimulate new root production. Unpruned trees
establish faster, with a stronger root system than trees pruned at the
time of planting.
Don't remove too many bottom branches (over-lifting) because those
will give the tree strength.
Never cut the top off your tree!
Tree topping is also harmful practice to trees.
After 3 years, you may prune the lower limbs to approximately one foot
off ground level. If you want to walk under your tree canopy, continue
to remove the lower limbs (1' off the ground) each year for up to 5 or
6 years. Bottom limbs give strength to the tree.
Here are 2 excellent article on Pruning Young Trees
See Figure 5 on this page: (third on the right side)
"Scaffold branches are the primary branches that will make up the
"Scaffold branches should look like ascending spokes around a central
axle (Figure 5). This will provide a structurally strong tree that is
attractive, balanced, and allows sunlight to penetrate and wind to
pass through the canopy."
"Maintain a stable center of gravity. Wind, winter snow loads, or
previous loss of a major limb can create situations where the tree's
center of gravity is not positioned over the trunk. Then when a severe
storm hits, a slight bit of extra weight or wind pressure can break
limbs, snap the trunk off, or even topple the tree, roots and all. You
can help reposition a tree's center of gravity by selectively removing
branches on the leaning side and encouraging branches on the opposite
Remove rubbing branches, suckers, watersprouts, and temporary
branches. Branches that rub against each other produce wounds and
decay. One of the offending branches should be removed. Watersprouts
and suckers can occur at the base of the tree or inside the crown.
They are rapidly growing, weakly attached, and upright branches that
do not follow the tree's normal growth pattern. On trees that have
been severely damaged, these kinds of branches may be temporarily
needed to provide foliage. In healthy trees, however, they most often
use more energy than they return to the tree, and it is best to remove
them as soon as possible . (see Illustration F4)
Temporary branches grow low on the tree when it is young and protect
young bark from injury by the sun. After a tree is three to four years
old, these temporary branches should be gradually removed.
Because leaves are vital in providing the tree with nourishment, never
remove more than one-third of a tree's leafy crown when pruning.
Don't cut branches back to stubs. Often people have the mistaken idea
that long natural limbs on a tree will break more easily in a storm,
and should be cut back to make them stronger. Just the opposite is the
case. When a branch is cut back to a stub, new branches will grow from
the edges of the stub. Because they cannot form a strong union with
the stubbed branch, these new branches are even more likely to be
broken in a future storm.
If a branch needs to be removed, cut it back to a main branch or to
the tree's trunk. Never leave a stub." (see Illustration F5)
"Trees growing in a windy area are often stunted because wind damages
the vegetative buds and growth slows (Thomas 2000). Wind can cause
stress on trees growing in the open by increasing transpiration from
the leaves and causing desiccation of the bark (Bernatzky 1978,
2. Protect trees from excessive wind exposure -- Protection from wind
increases thickness of the leaf boundary layer and reduces
transpiration rate and water stress. Wind stress would be lessened in
a clumped arrangement of trees rather than single, isolated trees."
That's all I've been able to find, but I hope it is satisfactory for you.
Re: different effect of the wind on the oak vs. the pine tree -
Because there are so many different varieties of oaks and pines, it's
hard for me to make a determination. I suggest you call the nursery
where you purchased your trees. They'd be better able to advise you.
A personal note on staking: I live in an area that can be quite gusty
and windy from time to time. I had a young acacia tree triple staked
for 4 years until I pulled out the stakes. I felt the tree needed the
support for much longer than the recommended time. Now the tree is
hearty and standing up quite nicely when a heavy storm hits the area.