You don’t nee to be an avid green thumb to know that trees should grow straight and upright.
When they lean to one side, there’s a greater risk of them falling over, which can be downright dangerous if there is a home, carport, or other man-made structure nearby.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to correct an aged tree that is leaning. If the tree is large and has been growing in the same position for five or more years, like the one in the picture above, it’s doubtful that you can move or correct it without causing substantial injury or death.
But for smaller trees that are learning, including trees that you’ve recently transplanted, you can correct them.
Before we reveal the steps to correcting a leaning tree, it’s important to know why trees lean in the first place. Among the most common reasons is loose soil, which is particularly common when trees are transplanted.
If the soil is too loose, the sheer weight of the tree may cause it to tilt. Other factors that may cause or contribute to leaning include strong winds, a weak trunk, drainage problems, and weak root structures.
In some cases, leaning trees will correct themselves. In other cases, though, you’ll need to step in and lend a hand.
Assuming the tree is small and young, you may be able to straighten it by staking it to the ground. This is best done with wood or metal stakes, exceeding no longer than five feet in length.
Simply drive the stakes into the ground alongside the tree, at which point you can secure the tree to the stakes using either rope or wire.
Tighten the wire or rope so it pulls the tree straight and leave it in place for one full season. At the end of the season, your tree should be straight, or at least straighter than before.
Another solution is to uproot and transplant the tree in a new location. Depending on the age and species/variety, you may be able to uproot the leaning tree and transplant it in a new location upright.
With that said, anytime you uproot a tree you run the risk of stressing it to the point of death. This is why you should only use this technique as a last resort.
When uprooting a tree, try to get all of the roots while bringing as much “old” soil over to the new location as possible.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or