Help with supporting leaning tree

mmasiniMay 5, 2012

i have a tree that is leaning pretty bad. Can someone please help me in coming up with a good way to support the tree so i dont have to cut it down. it started leaning after a bad storm and i really would like to save it. I was thinking about using a turn buckle with cables on each side of it and having one end of the cable go around the tree and the other end attached to a 't' post in the ground. any other ideas guys? thanks

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By chance, is that a purple leaf plum? I have seen this happen more with that particular tree than any other...

As far as support, you could get someone to hold it straight while you attach a few T bars to it opposite the leaning direction. Honestly, it most likely has/had major root issues and that led to the failure.

I would remove the tree personally and replace it with another tree.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:41PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The t-post idea sounds pretty awful to me. First, the tree looks pretty large to be successfully held securely by just a couple of t-posts. Secondly, the t-post would be a permanent, ugly addition to the landscape, which I wouldn't want.

The tree has significant root issues, almost certainly due to improper planting, and should be removed in my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:02PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I agree that the damage to this tree is very significant...under the ground where you can 't see it. I would remove it and replant with another tree of your choice.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:23AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Yeah, I say remove it also. The damage done is probably not correctable and the fix is unsightly and difficult to mow around.
Those purple leafed Plums don't age well.
Years ago I thought about having a few and then got to know them better. Here, they're all over. Why should I have one when I can see them down the street? Usually badly pruned or damaged by heavy snow or ice. The leaves look bad by the middle of the summer and no Fall color.
There are better trees to have in your yard.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:37AM
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I also agree that any 'fix' would be a permanent part of the landscape and if you took it off, the tree would again tilt. I have a fruiting plum in my orchard who is doing this. I do have mine staked since it's for food and not beauty. I promise you it was planted properly. LOL.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:18AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

my guess.. half the roots broke allowing the lean

heaving it back upright will break more roots ...

its a lot of work just to kill it ...

with all that bare space.. i dont understand why this tree is precious ... there is so much potential..

get rid of it


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:38AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Poor root development (not breakage) was the immediate (something caused the poor root development too) cause. Yes, I'll bet some roots did break, but I don't want the OP to think that half their tree's roots just suddenly snapped off. If the root system developed "normally" this wouldn't normally happen.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:16AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ok brandon..

what i was trying to say.. is that there is major damage UNDERGROUND ... regardless of what the tree looks like above.. but for the lean ...

one may not presume.. that simply standing it upright.. will be the end of it all ... i might suggest at least 5 years to regrow the root system.. during which time.. major parts of the canopy will die.. or not.. who knows ..

on thing for sure.. i wouldnt want to look at cabling and stakes .. for 5 years.. when a new 3 foot tree could be the same size in the same 5 years ...


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 1:05PM
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Ehh I bet the tree would be pretty well off if what ever roots are broken. I have seen trees in similar circumstances laying on their side doing very well, several years after they "leaned" or fell over. This particular tree is so disease prone, who know how much longer it will persist lean or no lean.

It is really a matter of if the OP wants to deal with cables or not. There is a purple leaf plum that has been staked since we moved here(around 3 years) and it has to be straightened and restaked once or twice a year, although they only use wooden stakes and some rope. Still apparently healthy from 60' away on the road.


ps - I did a quick tally this morning. Of the 5 PLP in the area, 3 are leaning. Of the 3 that are leaning, 2 are staked. The large one not leaning has had massive canopy die back and has water spouts galore. The small one not leaning has been in the ground John

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:45PM
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