Help with bent Stewartia Pseudocamellia sapling
Hello, everyone. I'm a tree newbie who would love some help with my Stewartia Pseudocamellia sapling (10 gallon size), which arrived from Forest Farm late last week. When I received it, I noticed the packaging was very sturdy and secure. After excitedly ripping it open, I was a bit perplexed, since although well packaged, the sapling was very long and flexible, with the leader bent at an angle. It was floppy. I removed the plastic and watered it, then allowed it to sit for a day before planting it in my shady garden in a part shade location. My soil (which I did not amend) is somewhat clay-like but with a lot of organic matter and many earthworms present. I thought perhaps the sapling would right itself, but it remains bent at approximately a 40-45 degree angle. I contacted Forest Farm, and Ray very promptly replied, telling me that the tree looks fine from pictures I sent and that the Stewartia Pseudocamellia has a zigzag branching habit. He said that if I wanted to I could try splinting the tree to straighten it out.
I would prefer not to splint or otherwise mess with the tree if this is unnecessary. However, I can't shake the feeling that the way the sapling bends is problematic. I have searched the internet and looked at many pictures, without seeing other specimens that bend this way. I would greatly appreciate it if you could offer me some advice or feedback. Am I being new-plant-neurotic? Do Stewartia Pseudocamellia saplings simply look this way? If not, will the tree self-correct and straighten up, or do I need to do something to help it along? I really appreciate any help you can provide - I've been very impressed with the posts on this forum! Thanks! (I have a picture and am trying to figure out how to upload it. It will follow soon.)