planting fruit trees what is the best way to keep them straight?

macoroni and melons asks: planting fruit trees what is the best way to keep them straight?
I just planted 8 fruit trees and am new to gardening, wondering what is the best method to use to keep the trees from growing crooked, i live out in the country and do have alot of wind. Also what is the best way to guard the trunks of the trees from Rabbits ect? Appreciate advice as want to eventually have a nice small home orchard. The ones that were here were very crooked and almost to the ground so got new ones.

The answer voted best is:

Answer by fluffernut
There’s a lot of bad info on tree staking around. One is the hose in wire method…….one still sees that in books and on the web. No!! Even with the hose, the narrow wire’s pressure is still applied to the trunk, not good. You want broad soft material around the tree and then that piece attaches to your guy wire away from the tree. See picture below.

Also keep the support low as possible. By keeping a tree perfectly immobile creates a very weak tree. Trees must wiggle to develop supporting lignon. So plan on one season with the posts (of course they didn’t puncture the root ball, right?) or guy wires (I prefer posts). If a tree hasn’t caught in a season, it will always be a problem. Even during the supporting season, move the straps around up and down on the trunk.

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