Wind blown branches now other direction

JerryVenturaOctober 9, 2013

I planted a white genoa this spring, growing great here in Southern California on the coast. A couple of the branches are about 4' in length, one on each side, a couple smaller branches on the trunk also. We have hot dry winds at this time of year that blow from the inland valleys, gusts can be around 60 mph and usually last three days. So here's the problem. Nothing broke tore or ripped, but my two branches that were once on opposite sides of the tree, nicely balanced are now both pointing west and hanging lower. You can't just pull them back in place, and they are heavy enough that I don't think the tree can bring them back up. I was think about cutting half the branches off to lighten the load and seeing if the branches would go back.

Any ideas?


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If this just happened, I don't see why you could not use some stakes in the ground and pull the branches back into place and hold them there for some time(?days or weeks) - they should be able to be corrected. You might want to gradually do the correction, perhaps half the distance for a few days then the whole way back to the proper orientation. If those branches were flexible enough to bend that far, they should bend back

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:19PM
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You would need very tall stakes, the branches would have to be pulled up and back, they are taller than me and I'm 6'. I really wanted them to be the main branching structure of the tree, but if they don't go back I'll just prune them next year.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Here is another pic. They used to be on the North and South side, now they are both pointing west. Even the top of the main trunk was heading east, but I'm not worried about that one.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 1:38AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

When winds blow young branches that are a high % of dynamic (living) mass out of position, they are often reluctant to return to their former position, this, because on the inside of the bend the cells are compressed to form compression wood, and on the outside of the bend they are stretched to form tension wood. Lengths of wood that exhibit indications of both stresses are called reaction wood.

You can mechanically return the branches to their original position until they thicken and hold orientation, or simply remove those branches that are unsightly and spoil your vision for the tree. Keep two things in mind: A) these branches are a significant source of the tree's food (photosynthate) so don't remove them until leaves have fallen B) these branches are quite low on the tree and might actually be removed once the tree outgrows the branches as a part of the composition.

I understand you're on the mend from a procedure, but lifting the tree after leaves fall or in spring before bud-break & reorienting it is another strategy, if workable within your limitations.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Thank you so much Al. I looked and found that I have two very long stakes that I'm going to have someone put in so as to bring the branches back up till they harden off. You might notice that the tree is planted above ground, that was because eventually that area needs to be re graded for water runoff, plus we have clay soil, and you can't tell by the picture but that tree is planted in a mix that is somewhere between a gritty mix and a 5-1-1. There is A LOT of mix, I mixed it in batches in a cement mixer. The tree has been doing very well, but like I said, this part of the season is our Santa Ana Winds, and they blow hot and hard, so the tree needs a little special help at this stage of it's growth.
Thank you again Al for the advice, my container plants inside and out have done crazy well since reading your pages and following your advice.

Much appreciated,

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:59PM
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I had friends stake and pull the branches back up.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:42PM
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