I have 5 small, 12” Japanese maple saplings that have seeded themselves around my mature trees.
A few are growing along the ground, I would like to stake them, in order to get their growth more upright. And potentially, eventually transplant them.
Can you advise as to the wisdom of staking? And if possible how I would go about doing so. The logistics of the task?
Lucky you, to have some saplings to transplant!
The following website is devoted to the planting and care of native maples, but the instructions on planting small seedlings is appropriate for your Japanese maples, and should provide some basic guidelines for you:
You ask a very good question about staking. There are many views both pro and con, with recent research suggesting that prolonged staking is not advisable for a variety of reasons including inadequate development of both trunk and root systems, and an inability to remain upright once the stakes are removed – in other words, exactly what you would try to avoid. If you feel staking is needed, the stake should be no higher than 2/3 the height of the tree, and the binding should be flexible and movable so that the trunk’s taper develops correctly. Staking should be removed after the first season. Here is a good article on the subject: https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/staking.pdf
Very best of luck with your young Japanese maples.