What Should You Do With a “Leaning” Tree?

Leaning Trees

Leaning TreesDo you have a leaning tree in your yard? If so, what can you do about it? Well, it depends on the age of the tree. If it’s a younger tree, you might be able to straighten it up if you handle things properly.

Stake It

To straighten a leaning tree you should “stake it.” Stakes are essentially wooden or metal poles. You’ll need two or three of them. Place your hand on the tree’s trunk to find out where it ideally needs to be steadied. Your stakes should be the same height as where you place your hands on the tree to steady it– most likely about 5-feet tall. Typically, you’ll place two of your stakes opposite of each other. Put them about a foot and a half away from the trunk. If you think you need a third stake, put it on the open side of the tree. To attach stakes, it’s best to use a soft material such as canvas strapping or tree staking straps. Make sure to allow for slack because the tree will want to naturally sway. Some people make the mistake of using rope or wire to stake their trees, but this isn’t a good idea as these materials can damage tree trunks.

Tree Type Matters

What kind of trees tend to lean? If you’ve got newly purchased saplings, thin-stemmed trees, or young trees planted in a windy area, you’re probably going to want to stake them to help straighten them out. Staking is a temporary support. It allows the root system to become well-established over time, and once the roots are strong they should be able to support the tree alone.

Other Things to Note

Oftentimes people leave their stakes on a tree for many years, but that’s not necessary. Ideally, they belong on a tree for one growing season. When placing a stake in the ground, drive it into the ground so that the stake is upwind of the tree if possible.

What about older trees that lean? Can they be straightened? Not likely.

If you have any questions about leaning trees and/or want Big Foot Tree Service to assess your situation, please call 973-885-8000. Big Foot Tree Service of Wayne, NJ, handles all sorts of services, including stump/tree removal, tree trimming, and dealing with storm damage/clean up. You can also email bwhitmore83@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns.