I have a one-year-old blue fir that has started to lean. What is the best way to straighten it?
The answer depends on why the tree is tilted.
When a tree is tilted, it sits after being planted and stops twisted, or the tree is slightly attached to the ground and simply "shakes" a little.
To determine what is happening with your tree, see if you can move the tree by gently pushing it in a straight line. If it moves easily, you have the second scenario.
In that case, you must bet the tree safely to support it while growing new roots.
Use two or three strong stakes, we like to use the metal "T" posts, stuck in the ground around the tree. Use the tree straps to surround the trunk and tie them firmly to the poles.
I know I'm not doing a good job describing this. Our website shows how to do it. Go to bit.ly/2FzW3xI to see how we do it when we plant a tree.
You must have the tree well tied. If the tree moves too much, it will have difficulties to start new roots. Leave the stakes lit for at least a year and maybe two, and then remove them. Leaving the stake tree too long is a bad thing, since the tree can grow and depend on the support stakes.
If the tree seems tight when you press it, it simply sits crookedly. This is a more difficult problem to solve. Pulling the tree hard to straighten it can damage the roots and the tree.
You have two options, I think. The first thing is to live with it. The tree will eventually grow vertically. It will have a curve in the trunk where it will be swept vertically from its current position at an angle. It is likely to be minimized over time and hidden by the dense foliage of the spruce.
The second option would be to unearth the tree and straighten it. This will cause the tree to go back a year with damage to the roots that the tree has removed, but it should recover. Just make sure that the ground below and around the rootball is firm so that it does not continue to settle.
You do not want to compact the soil in concrete, just make sure that all the "settlements" on the ground are eliminated.
Finally, if this is the way you should go, this is a terrible time of year to do so. I recommend waiting until the end of September or, better yet, wait until March next year.
Dennis Hill is the daycare manager at Bookcliff Gardens, bookcliffgardens.com. Send your questions to Bookcliff Gardens, 755 26 Road, Grand Junction 81506, or send an email to [email protected]