Pine tree feel on dogwood. How do I straighten it back up?

cgordy(7)February 10, 2013

A straight line wind storm pushed many trees down on our property, a large dead pine feel on our young dogwood (maybe around five years old.) We forgot the dogwood was there until we began to cut up the fallen trees, it was bent almost fully to the ground for a few day without snapping the trunk. The tree is now bent at a 45 degree angle, how do I straighten it back up so it won't break later on when it continues to mature?

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I would just cut it down and start over...its never going to fully recover.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Well if its still standing and no other problems/diseases are present then I don't see why you should want to cut it down. I would wait until next fall/winter and shape it into a way that it looks a bit ornamental. I never had a problem with other trees bending smaller trees....but Maybe (This is my random thought of the day lol) you can somehow dig it up (get as many roots as you can get) and then bare root it and re-plant it so that it can be straight (of course you'll have to stake it since it'll be very wobbly). Then proper watering and all that other gibberish to make sure it roots well to hold it self up. I'd stake it for about 1 year or about 1 1/2 years.Making the soil very moist is also a key point into straightening it out, as well as doing it when it is dormant. Also, can you send us a picture of the dogwood tree? Maybe a few (Ex: one currently, one in the spring, and then after you stake it?)

This post was edited by gardenapprentice on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 16:33

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:27PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

It would be hard to develop much of a meaningful opinion without more info (how long ago did you remove the pine, how large is the dogwood, etc) and pictures.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:34PM
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how do I straighten it back up so it won't break later on when it continues to mature?

No idea without being able to see it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

Assuming the tree was pretty much straight before the pine fell on it and it didn't break it, then your dogwood is pretty flexible. Just gently pull it back straight (listening for any cracking/popping sounds indicating it is breaking) and tie it off/stake it straight until next summer or fall, them remove the support.

Since the tree sprang back to about 45 degrees once the pine was removed, it may straighten itself almost completely over time, anyway. A slanted trunk could add more interest to the appearance of the tree, too, if you leave it alone.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:13AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

we really need a picture for precise advice ..

i will also send you an application for 'the weirder the better club' ...

trees in nature .. survive in all types of form [see link] ... and balance themselves out ... and you can change that thru creative pruning ...

but one thing for sure.. on a tree of any kind.. you are going to be hard pressed to take the bow out if it ... if it were a whip under an inch.. maybe.. but i dont think it can be done with a 5 year old tree ...

if you can accept it as it is.. and enjoy it oddity ... do so ...

if you are retentive.. and this thing will simply drive you insane ... just start over.. as noted above ...

BTW... many trees.. left to there own.. can straighten somewhat themselves.. once sap begins to flow in spring.. i recommend you do nothing for now ....



Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:36AM
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It should straighten up fairly well with 'some' help. I 'feel' for your dogwood...LOL

First thing: Wait until the temperature is well above freezing. Most smaller branches become relatively inflexible at below freezing temperatures.
Gently straighten up the tree without forcing it. Stake it or splint it so it remains in that position. By late May or so, it should stay in the new (old) position on its own. If it still wants lurch over, keep the stake or splint on until fall. That's about all you can do...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:24AM
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Thank you everyone.

Decision: I'm going to wait until the ground is fully warm and the sap in the tree makes the tree more flexible, then I'll stake the tree with a counter weight.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:11PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

So, did you really know what to do all along and just want some moral support, or, is the project just not worth the trouble of providing more info? Whatever the case, good luck to you and your tree.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Brandon7, that sounds very condescending. I know a lot about gardening, but not trees. I took the best bits of info and put a reasonable idea on how to fix the tree.
Also, currently I have two jobs and no time to take pictures and do research on what other info you think I should provide. That's why I asked here. If this tree didn't mean anything to me I wouldn't have taken the time to cut off every limb with a handsaw then roll the tree off the dogwood, and bruise up my legs so bad that people gave me funny looks at church. I did this in remembrance of Christ, I was taught growing up that this tree symbolized His crucifixion and after what the storm did to my family and I, I needed a personal resurrection of knowing I could actually do something about all the bad events that had happened.
Thank you for the luck, but I've got a loving God that will teach me what I need to do to care for His creation.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:52AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont understand this part: I'll stake the tree with a counter weight.

===>> never heard of such ... the counterwieght part ...

care to elucidate.. or are you all set ... ????

ignore brandons tone .. i know him well enough to think he was curious.. though his choice of words seem otherwise ... and if not.. his bad ...


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:30AM
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ken-adrian: I'm going to use a rope with a weight (such as a cement block) to pull it slightly in the other direction to counteract gravity pulling it the other way, if this makes since.

Thanks, I shouldn't have been as agitated by his remark, but like I mentioned I work two jobs and just too busy (and it's been raining outside ever since; so no pics, even when I had a moment.)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:03PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I understand not having time. Seems like I often give up great things because of lack of time. But, to me, this thread seems similar to someone going to the doctor with a health concern...the doctor says he would like to do an x-ray but that it will require an extra 10 minutes of the patient's time to confirm the diagnosis...the patient says that they just don't have time and leaves. Hey, that's cool and fine with me, but I just didn't understand it (although the rain thing does explain it I guess). Unfortunately it seems way to common on GardenWeb. Many times, people even ask questions and then are never heard from again.

This post was edited by brandon7 on Tue, Feb 12, 13 at 20:40

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:38PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont get the reason for the weight..

just drive a stake in mother earth ...

i've seen the Japanese system of guiding small branches.. i just dont see how it will work on a tree trunk .. which is essentially.. at this point.. a bow .. as in bow and arrow ... but that pic might make all the difference in the world....

whatever.. ken

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Stake the tree, don't mess with weights. We have had this happen to several trees. Even managed to save a few with severe damage through staking and pruning. Depending on the tree, its age, and the amount of damage, how long it will take to once again retain a good form on its own will vary. You aren't out anything but time if it's a wash.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:51PM
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