How to Straighten a Leaning Tree

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Generally, new trees/plants purchased from a nursery or a garden center lean due to multiple reasons. This is because of various climate conditions such as heavy rains, strong winds lack of light, improper soil, etc. Mostly, a leaning tree can be fixed but in mild cases, it is not needed.

Why do Trees Lean?

Weight Distribution

Depending on the diameter of the trunk, the height of the tree and gravity can create problems. Distribution of crown weight on the trunk is important.

Different Species

Various trees have a different root system. Some go deeper and others don’t. The depth and width of the root system should be considered while assessing an inclining tree.

Environmental Factors

There are various environmental and climatic factors that contribute to the lean of a tree. For example, a tree that grows towards the sun tends to have a curved trunk. Additionally, storms and constant winds also lead to a tree to lean.

Many times trees need staking to stop them from leaning. New and freshly planted trees have small roots that are not easily able to promote the growth of the tree. A tree having thin stem bend due to their specific weight. In such cases, staking comes into the picture.

Now, the question comes, How to strengthen a tree that is leaning.

When a tree is in its growing stage, sometimes due to its own weight it can not sustain and lean.  In that case, we have an option to provide its support by staking or guying. It is the best way to let it stand tall.

Through staking temporary support is given to the tree till roots are strong enough to bear the weight of the tree. Staking is advised to be kept for one season. These supports should be constructed of solid wood about five feet long.

Mostly trees will require one stake or guy rope. This also depends on the size of the tree. Before staking locate underground utilities in order to prevent any damage.

So now, Let’s Start Staking!

Step 1 – Put your hand in the stem and check where it requires to be fixed. Your stakes should be that tall.

Step 2 – Place two stakes adverse to each other about one and a half feet far from the stem. Only use the third stake whenever it is required, and place it on the evidential side of a tree.

Step 3 – Use a flexible material such as canvas or cloth strapping. Straps of tree staking are also available.

You need to allow adequate slack so that trees can stand. Do not use wire or rope. This will damage the tree stem.

How Long it Should Be Staked?

As we discussed earlier staking is needed for at least one growing season. For example, if you put a stake in the spring season, then remove it in the fall season.

If you put a stake in the fall season, remove it during the spring season.

Otherwise, a tree will rely on stake and would not be able to stand.

Can an Uprooted Tree be Fixed?

The answer is Yes. We can fix an uprooted tree. The thing is half of the root system still be securely planted in the soil. The roots which are exposed should be free from damage and disturbance.

For this, exclude as much as soil possible from the unearthed roots and gently level the tree. The roots must have to be planted below the grade level again. Put the soil tightly throughout the roots and attach two-three guy wires to the tree.

Leaning Tree

If the leaning is because of natural things, it is because of sunlight availability indirectly. Trees tend to grow in the direction of the sun. it always has a curving trunk.  It happens due to the internal mechanism of the tree to adapt to sunlight availability.

Due to this, the root system develops in order to balance the weight distribution. Some times a leaned tree is dangerous for the surrounding.

Tree leaning may happen because of natural calamities like storm, wind, etc. also. Sometimes when a tree is just healthy in front of your eyes, suddenly after a downpour you may see visible leaning in it.

In that case, it is important to solve the issue as soon as possible. Because it affects the structure of neighbor trees as well.

How to Straighten a Tree After a Storm

Trees leaned because of storm needs immediate actions because of safety measures. It should be restored or immediate actions should be taken to solve the issue.  The removal of the damaged part is an essential part of the process. Damaged branches and trunks must be taken care of to reduce accident chances. There are important points to be taken care of while storm-damaged tree treatment:

  • Broken branches need to be cut carefully. While damaged branches need to be prune taking into notice the tree structure.
  • When a power line is there in between the leaned tree, it is needed to be more precautious. A specially trained arborist is highly recommended for this task.
  • When it comes to trunk structure, after a storm it should be analyzed and find the ways of restoration.
  • If the leaning is high and the roots are affected, then there are fewer chances of its restoration.

How to Straighten a Mature Leaning Tree

In the case of a mature tree that is leaning it needs a different treatment to stop the leaning.

Roots can be firmly packed with the soil and anchoring should be done, on the trunk. But, it should be applied for a season or so.

Routine Maintenance is a Must…

Cutting immature trees in their initial period can help in fixing basic concerns before they grow into huge problems.

Trimming of a tree is also necessary to eliminate deadwood and preserve a healthy tree.

The crown mass of the tree can be managed by tree trimming. This is a good way to keep trees balanced and keep them stable.

Mary Thomas
All my life I have been interested in home design and I love shopping for my home. I hope I can help you make the purchase decision and avoid the pitfalls of today's online shopping.


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