Leaning Maple - Knowledgebase Question

Saint Paul, MN
Question by Jthole5
June 26, 1998
We have a 30 foot Norway Maple tree that is now leaning about 20 degrees south due to a severe wind storm over night. Can the tree be straightened? will the tree live? The tree was otherwise healthy and the roots have not pulled out of the ground.


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Answer from NGA
June 26, 1998

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Your maple can be supported and straightened with the aid of a few stakes, wire, and two pieces of garden hose. The trick is to right the tree in increments, rather than trying to straighten it out all at once. This can be accomplished by increasing the tension on the supports every few weeks. Start by placing two stakes 10-12 feet away from the trunk, so the stakes and the tree are equal distances and form a triangle. The stakes should be on the upside of the tree, in the direction you'll be putting the tension to bring the tree upright. Securely attach wire to the stake, go around the trunk of the tree (protecting the trunk with the piece of garden hose), and attach the end of the wire to the same stake. Do the same with the second stake. Then shorten the wires an equal amount so the tension from both directions is the same. Don't pull so tightly that you damage the bark or put undo pressure on the trunk, but make the wires taut. About every 3-4 weeks you can adjust the tension on the wires to bring the tree into a more upright position. Try to attach the wires slightly higher than mid-way on the trunk. It shouldn't take long to bring your maple tree back up to standard.

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