The featured trees have been this way for at least the past year and half, and this is what happened when a thunderstorm hit:
FYI, the following are some Facts about Staking a Tree:
"What some tree planters do not understand is, rather than helping a tree develop root and trunk growth, improper tree staking replaces a supportive trunk and root system with an artificial support that causes the tree to put its resources into growing taller but not growing wider.
"If and when the stakes are removed, the lack of trunk and root development makes these trees prime candidates for breakage or blow-down. In the first good windstorm, down these trees come. They have lost the supportive protection of natural development."