Swamp White Oak

dalej01August 23, 2013

First post on this site.

I planted this SWO last fall and it seems to be doing well. However, I've had it staked (3 point until recently) since planting to help correct a slight bend in the trunk. My decision to remove two of the stakes is because the tree leans to the left (in the pic) and I want the wind to assist with this correction - i dont want the other stakes to prevent the tree from bending to the right. I realize that it's best to remove stakes as soon as possible... I'm just not sure it's possible yet. I've removed all of them before and found the tree bent way to the left after some big winds so put the one stake back on for support. Is my logic skewed in this approach?

Also, note the close-up pic... Acorns already???

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Adding second pic.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 3:16PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would let it be free...

when the trunk is a foot thick.. it will be straight ...and your speculation and machinations for naught ...

you are way over thinking this ....

if it doenst need a stake to hold it up because of soil issues..

then it needs no stake ...

as dylan so articulately said: THE ANSWER MY FRIEND.. IS BLOWIN IN THE WIND ...etc...

who knew he was a drug addled arborist.. lol ....


    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Thanks Ken... I probably am over thinking this. I recently set 3 other trees that were planted this spring "free" and they are doing just fine - but they were straight from the start and the stakes and lines were never tight - just there to prevent severe blowin in the wind.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:45PM
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I suspect stakes are a crutch due to poor root development or transplanting. The real answer then is to facilitate strong root growth. This would have been done by digging an oversized hole filled with rich compost and phosphorus sources when first transplanting to begin with, no? Simply removing the stakes now isn't necessarily going to promote root growth... Although at this point, you could probably still dump some good phosphorus sources on top to help. If you eat meat, maybe you could just hammer some old bones into the ground around it like phosphorus spikes. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Espoma Bulb-tone

This post was edited by blakrab on Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 17:54

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:53PM
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I have a ROW of SW WO. That are clearly without an area to plant themselves.It wou;ld be great if they can find anh area to plant there roots.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:42PM
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Let your O(AKS grow free. they will look b etter that way.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Poaky - not entirely sure what your first post means. I think the soil and roots are doing just fine for this tree.

I think we all agree to set the tree free and that's what I will do.

Here's an example of one of the trees I planted this spring that has no support lines. This tree was labeled as a 'project' by the nursery because someone chopped the top off at some point. Because of the fantastic price, we added it last minute to a purchase of 2 other N Red Oaks. This one is called the orphan because of the 'project' label and how we added him on a whim to our purchase - we felt sorry for him. :) This tree may be doing the best of any of the three I bought that day this past spring.

You can see the SWO that started this thread towards the left edge of this pic in the distance.

This post was edited by JD_MN on Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 10:40

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 10:39AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Wait until it loses leaves this autumn, then remove the support. Should be OK, but watch closely next yr after it leafs out.

A couple trees that I had to do severe girdling-root surgery on (and lost their root-support) had to be staked for several yrs, but that's exceptional.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 11:03AM
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I must've had one drink too many, I made more sense the second time. My SWO's are tightly planted in a row of trees, with NRO across from them in what will be a shaded arch in the near future. The roots will be crammed together soon. That's what I meant the first time. But anyhoo, if trees are a bit crooked they usually right themselves. Some of the most interesting trees are a bit imperfect.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:40PM
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Regarding the close up pic with the "acorns"... They must not have been acorns. Or something ate them. They are all gone now - all of them.

Any idea what they were?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:58PM
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trees sometimes will produce fruit that doesn't mature. This is often a symptom of some kind of stress.

Chances are that the curve in the trunk will even out over time. However, you could use a plant support or board as a splint just in the area where the curve is. Personally, I'd let nature take it course. Oaks are not intended to have ramrod straight trunks like a spruce or white pine.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:46PM
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brad_s(Z5 IL)

Those were acorns alright. Note that they appeared at the end of a stem, typical of SWO. Had they been galls, they would have appeared on the twigs or leaves.

As pointed out by a prior post, they were probably aborted rather than eaten, although being eaten or carried off by Jays is certainly possible.

Good choice in a SWO in any event!

Brad N.IL/Z5

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:17PM
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