Fact: Save the stakes for vampires - sorry Twilight fans - unless the tree's location warrants protection from car doors and/or law maintenance equipment.
These urban threats can sever a tree's water (phloem) and nutrient (xylem) transport systems, located directly under the bark, preventing nutrients from traveling from the roots to the leaves.
Protective stakes can be left unattached from the tree since they are only being used to keep objects away. Two or three stakes arranged around the tree is sufficient.
Staking a tree that does not need it can do more harm than good. Trunk movement strengthens the trunk by thickening it and stimulates root growth. Additionally, staking a tree incorrectly can lead to girdling.