The Q&A Archives: Leaning holly tree

Question: A winter ice storm caused 2 of our 15 - 20 foot holly trees to bend over. After 1 month the trees have straightened, but still lean 3 or 4 feet to one side. Will proping it up make a difference. What do you suggest?

Answer: They may decide to grow upright on their own or you can try propping them up to see if a little encouragement will get them to return to their upright state. Since they are tall, there's no easy way to prop them. If you tie a cable near the top and anchor it in the ground you run the risk of girdling the central leader if the cable is too tight so you will need to inspect it monthly and adjust as necessary. The optimal way to shore each one up is to run 3 lines in a triangle pattern to hold the central leader up, making sure there is equal pressure on each line. This might be a project for a professional arborist. Best wishes with your hollies.

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