Leaning Maples!!

jskeyes2(Z10 San Diego)May 29, 2007

I have four armstrong maples and one red sunset maple planted along my back fence. All look real healthy and full of leaves and growing well. All are about 10-13 feet tall.

Weather here has been nice this spring with good but not too much rain and mild temperatures.

All these trees are leaning over to some extent like they are top heavy - one armsrtong is almost completely horizontal. Seems to happen more after rain.

Should I be pruning my trees or staking them or something else? I did not stake them last year and nothing like this happened. Also, dont have 13 foot stakes, so I don't know if that would solve the whole problem.


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myersphcf(z6a IL)

Sounds like it is growing a bit too fast and was likely hopped up ( pushed ) excessivly by fertilizer when you got it giving a taller tree with a thinner trunk. No.. staking that way would not work but with rope and tree ties and a tall step ladder you probably could upright it easily ...it sounds like it might break in a strong storm with rain and alot of wind so that is what i would do ...others may have other ideas...david

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:14AM
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It's almost never too late to stake a tree under 3 inches diameter. There are a lot of ways to stabilize. You would be surprised what some simple staking will do. Doesn't take much effort. As long as you stabilize from two opposite directions, you don't have to go up more than 3 to 5 feet, even for a 15+ foot tree. Get some strong stakes or 1 1/2" pressure treated lumber/strapping, some strong rope, wire or cable, some old hose pieces for cushions and a couple of sticks for tourniquets. You might have to adjust, re-stake, pull and tug over time, but unless the base of the tree and roots are stabilized, you will loose it. Act now before the top gets too leaf heavy and unmanageable.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:42PM
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jskeyes2(Z10 San Diego)

Thanks all for the tips. I ended up getting some stakes to stabilize them all. The interesting thing is that the red sunset maple was not leaning until about 8 feet up - then just the leader was leaning over.

Anyway, they are all upright now, hopefully this will hold OK until they get a little stronger. I did not think that I put down too much fertilizer, but I guess I will watch it from now on.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:19AM
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