4 Steps To Save A Young Leaning Tree

It can be disheartening to walk into your yard following a storm and see that a younger tree is leaning from wind damage. The good news is, if the damage that lead to the lean is minor and the tree is no more than four or five years old, you can likely save it with the help of a professional tree service

1. Tree Assessment

Your tree service will always begin with a full assessment. The technician is looking for severe damage to the roots. If only some of the anchoring roots are broken but the tree still has a good portion of the root ball intact, then it can be possible the save the tree. Your tech may also assess the risk to nearby buildings in determining whether it is worth trying to save the tree, as well as check the tree for any other concerns that may need to be addressed in order to help the tree recover.

2. Replanting and Positioning

Young trees can often be positioned upright again thanks to their more manageable size and smaller root balls. Depending on the size of the tree, your tech may be able to manhandle the tree back to an upright position. Heavier trees can be pulled back into their normal position with the help of a winch or come-along. Once the tree is again upright, the soil is packed around the roots to add support and ensure proper soil contact. 

3. Damage Mitigation

Mitigation usually entails trimming back the crown of the tree. First, any branches that were damaged in the storm or subsequent leaning are trimmed back so that the wood can heal over before disease attacks. The overall size of the crown may also be reduced. The reason is that the tree has fewer leaves and branches to support while the root system recovers and regrows any broken parts. 

4. Support Placement

It can take a year or longer before the tree to anchor itself firmly upright again. For this reason, your tree service will likely install between one and three tree supports. These supports are placed around the trunk a few feet out. A cable is used to anchor the trunk to the support. When done properly, the tree can still sway slightly in response to the wind, but the supports will prevent the tree from falling down. Once a year, the tech will assess the tree and either adjust or remove the supports, depending on how well the roots have recovered.

Contact a tree service if you are concerned about the lean of a young landscape tree.