The Q&A Archives: Crooked tree

Question: How do i straighten out a tree that i believe was planted crooked?

PS...i dont have the resources to dig it up.

Answer: You can straighten your tree in a series of steps by placing supports around it and coaxing it into an upright position. It's best to do this while the tree is still young and the lean isn't too pronounced. Start by driving three 6' stakes around your tree, about 2' away from the trunk and equally spaced from one another. Use soft, pliable material for ties and tie the tree trunk with three separate pieces of material, each secured to a single stake. By looping the material around the trunk and a single stake, you can put more tension where it's needed to straighten the tree, and use the other two to help secure it in it's new position. Depending upon how pronounced the lean is, you may only have to lightly tie the tree. If it's a severe lean, tie the tree fairly low down on the trunk and pull the tie tight, without actually cutting into the bark of the trunk. Then use a second tie slightly higher on the trunk and adjust the tension of both ties. Keep doing this until the tree is reasonably straight, but don't overdo it or try to straighten the tree all at once! The supports should be adjusted as the tree begins to grow straighter. Don't leave the ties on for more than two years or you'll girdle the trunk of the tree.

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