It never ceases to amaze me what evil can be done to a tree, simply with a tie and a stake. These homeowners probably thought they were doing a kind thing to their young tree, propping it up with a stake. However, this poor puppy should have been let off its leash long ago, before garrotting the bark this way.
In fact, unless there’s a danger of the root ball shifting, it’s good for a young tree to be left unstaked. Blowing in the wind can strengthen the trunk — just like human tissue gets stronger through exercise, creating micro-tears in the muscle which build the muscle as they heal.
And I won’t make a bad pun about what’s at stake here.