Originally Posted by Homeowner2010
The home we bought a year ago has a leaning tree that is about 18-ft tall. Sorry, I don't know what kind it is but can find out if needed. Q: Is there any way to get the tree to be straight or upright? I thought of tying a rope around it but at this point I don't think staking it will help. Maybe digging it up and replanting is our only option? How about cutting its leaves or that of nearby trees to encourage growth on the other side? Any tips, much appreciated.
It would help to know what kind of tree you have, but more inportant is: (1) the diameter of the trunk; (2) how much is it leaning and (3) how far the "drip line" (the edge of the average branch) is from the trunk.
I've had this problem with several trees over the years and resolved (not always solved) the problem by:
a) When the trunk wasn't too large, I was able to gradually make the tree upright by tieing a wire with a turnbuckle in the middle around the trunk (with boards to protect the bark) and then fastening the other end to something that wouldn't move (a nearby large tree worked for me). Every week I'd do another turn on the turnbuckle and over the summer, the tree was upright.
b) With a trunk of about four inches, I dug a trench around the drip line about 24" deep which I kept flooding as I used the wire/turnbuckle technique. Because of the wet ground, it only took a couple of weeks to get the tree straight. The wet soil method is a good thing to use on (a) also. The only hard part of this technique is finding something to attach the other end of the wire to.
c) Our current house has a Crab Apple at one corner of the front that was leaning toward the house with the branches rubbing against the siding. The tree was planted too close to the foundation so I didn't want to try to pull it away. In this case, I cut back the branches on the house side. The tree still leans, but it looks better (problem resolved but not solved).
d) In our last house, we had a tall white pine leaning over our bedroom. We had it cut down the first week after we moved in and planted a new tree (Spruce). Sometimes this is the best thing to do.