New Maple is 'Weeping'

chow1June 3, 2007

Just planted a new October Glory, it's about 10 ft tall. It was delivered on a truck, closed on 3 sides I think. The top one-third is bent over about 20 or maybe even 30 degrees. It now looks like a Weeping Willow! Any suggestions? Should I stake it? It looks healthy otherwise. Thanks for any help. I love reading this forum!

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spruceman

You say it is almost "weeping." From that I understand that the top curves over--that there is no one point where it is bent, and from that I assume that there is no crack or split at any point that is causing this bending over. If that is right, here is what I think happened.

During transit or handling at some point the top was rather strongly bent by being forced into a truck or it leaned hard against something for some period of time. So now it is bent and is not springing back.

If there is no crack anywhere in the top one third of this tree, I think it will be fine. There are two possibilities. First, it will gradually straighten itself up over the summer. The chances of this are very good. It may not get perfectly straight, but close enough that in the long run it will make no difference. If it were my tree I would wait and see if this happenes.

The other possibility is that it may need just a little help. If you want to help the tree straighten up, you can get a good strong but slender kind of stake about 6 feet long or so and very carefully and with some kind of non-abrading cord or better yet, a wide strap of some kind, tie this stake into the tree as a kind of splint to support the bent top. By the fall I think you could remove it.

If there is some kind of crack or cracks in the top of this tree, let me know and I will advise a treatment for that.

--Spruce

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 8:59AM
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chow1

Thanks Spruce! I see no cracks anywhere. I think I like your staking idea! I have rubber tubing that we used last year on 3 other maples, but a wide strap sounds less abrasive. Last year I left the tubing on thru winter because I didn't want my little trees torn away with the strong PA winds. Now this year I discover that the local tree farmers here all advise to remove staking in the fall.

One day I'll get it right! Many thanks!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 11:44PM
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jskeyes2(Z10 San Diego)

I was just going to add that I have a red sunset that I posted something similar about a week ago. I ended up getting a bamboo splint (taken from my yard but can be found everywhere) and ited it to the leader with some flexible tree tape. Proped it up very nicely - I guess I will try to take it off in a year or so and see how it is doing.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 11:49AM
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