Tree tilting correction - Knowledgebase Question

Laveen, Ar
Avatar for b20895
Question by b20895
January 5, 2010
I have two trees that are tilting where 1 is approx. 18ft tall. Does it pay for me to set a post to pull it straight or is it to late due to the height?

Answer from NGA
January 5, 2010
Success in straightening a tree has more to do with its age and how long it has been planted, not the current size. If it is a fairly young tree and has been in the ground less than 3-4 years, you may be able to coax it upright. In a young tree, the roots won't be fully developed yet and the tree has a better chance of developing additional roots to hold it upright. I think it's worth a try. Here's how: You'll need 3 stakes (metal or wood, about 10-12" long) and some wire. You'll also want some rubber tubing (available at Home Depot) or a few lengths of old garden hose to string over the wire to protect the bark of your tree. Pound the stakes into the ground 4-6' from the trunk of the tree, in a triangle. Each of the stakes will be individually attached to the trunk with the protected wire so the stakes should be equal distances from each other. Attach the wire firmly to the stake, wrap it around the trunk 5-6' from the ground (be sure the tubing is situated so it keeps the wire from digging into the bark), then take it back to the stake, wrap it around the stake and then wrap the end of the wire around the first wire (the one that's pulled tense up toward the tree trunk). Do this with all three stakes, making sure there's equal tension on all wires and that they are firmly attached. There should be a little play in the wires, so the tree can move a bit, but not too much play. You can then tighten the tie opposite the lean to pull the tree more upright. These wires should be adjusted each month, pulling against the lean by a few inches each month. Don't try to do it all at once - the idea is to gradually encourage upright growth. Be sure to check the loops around the trunk every month or so and loosen when necessary so they won't make marks in the bark. Good luck with your tree.

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