I just bought a 9 foot sugar maple with a fairly large canopy and want to plant it this weekend. I know the root ball needs to be stabilized for a year until the young tree's roots are establish properly. I've watched the Kansas Healthy Communities video from K-State on how to stake a tree http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fFNftCOG28 but I'm a little uncertain about which direction to point the stake. My tree will go on the south side of our lawn. Since I'm planting in late summer/fall, do I need to worry about winter prevailing winds from the north? Or, do I need to stake against the southern prevailing winds of spring and summer?
Also, the tree is grafted and the cultivar top-half is not growing completely straight in the container. Do I set the tree in the ground so that it is straight? Or do I lean it towards the prevailing wind to straighten it? If it should lean, which direction? North or south? (Note: the tree will be somewhat sheltered from north winds by our house and other neighbors' houses.) Long questions, but I want to make sure I do it right for the long-term health of my tree. Thanks for your help. - TX KS GRL -