There can be many reasons why your tree isn’t growing straight, and the bigger it grows the more dangerous this can be. By attending to the problem quickly – whether that’s straightening a small tree or completely removing a big one – you can minimise the risk of damage to your property, crushing your car or injuring your family.
For trees that are still young, you can correct the angle they grow at with some rope and a stake. Drive the stake into the ground on the opposite side to the lean. Make sure not to put it too close as the tree can start to grow around the stake which can cause problems later on.
It’s best to use a sturdy metal stake that’s around five feet long. One is normally enough, but this will depend on the size of your tree and how windy it is.
Tie a rope to the stake but not to the tree. It’s important to use something flexible (like an old cotton T-shirt or a rubber inner tube) around the tree to avoid damaging the bark. Tie the rope around this and then tighten. As you do so you should see the tree begin to straighten. Keep the guy rope in place for a few months to support the trunk, and the tree should continue to grow straight up. Once the tree looks to be growing at a healthier angle, remove the stake from the ground as it can damage lawnmowers and other machinery if you keep it in there.
It’s best to do this while the ground is wet, otherwise the roots can break.
One of the most common causes of a leaning tree is that it is in an area that’s too windy. Another way to correct a leaning tree is by digging it up and moving it. By doing this you can place the tree in the ground in an upright position in an area that’s more protected from the elements.
Another reason that the tree might be leaning is that it’s lopsided. If it’s heavier on one side than the other, it’s likely to lean that way and the longer it’s like this the worse the problem gets. By removing some of the branches on that side you can even up the weight distribution and free the tree to grow more straight.
Sometimes, especially for older trees, it’s not possible to correct the angle it grows at. This can be a result of a small problem not getting fixed earlier or it may come about after a storm. Depending on the direction the tree’s leaning and how likely it is to fall, it may be a major safety concern. Getting a qualified tree lopper to remove safety risks like this is something that should be done as soon as possible.
For professional help assessing damaged trees, trimming branches or removing trees entirely, call Able Tree Services on 0403 221 044 for a free quote.
Image: “Leaning trees” by Michael Coghlin is licensed under CC BY 2.0