How To Straighten A Tree That Is Leaning

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Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by

Some gardeners prefer their trees to grow in a straightway. But sometimes, one can’t beat Mother Nature. Some factors can contribute to your trees growing in a crooked way. Learn how to straighten a tree that is leaning. Wind, storm, rain, snow, and some other factors can play some part in your leaning tree. All these factors to some extent can cause some harm to your trees. And you might be wondering what ways to solve or correct these leaning tree problems.

Staking is a way of straightening a leaning tree. It is a mechanical process of assisting the trunk of a tree making your tree sturdy upright.

Usually, to straighten a young leaning tree, you might need just one stake and a rope. While bigger trees may need more stake and a lot of effort to straighten the leaning tree.

Steps on How to Straighten a Leaning Tree

How To Straighten a Small Leaning Tree

Below are the steps to straightening a small leaning tree:

  • To begin, dig a hole around 18 inches away from the small tree. You can wet the ground where you are digging the hole earlier in the day. This will soften it and you will find it easier to pound in the stake.
  • You will need 1 or 2 stakes. Hit the stake to the ground (about 15-20 inches into the ground). Make sure to drive the stake opposite the tail of the tree.
  • Get your strap. Wrap it around the tree and the stake. Pull the tree and tie and secure the stake of the leaning tree.
  • Observe the tree and make the strap tight when it becomes loose.

Straightening a Big Leaning Tree

You will need a lot of energy and helpers to straighten a bigger tree. Below are the steps:

  • Get your stakes. You might need more stakes for bigger trees.
  • Drive the stake post to about 18 inches into the ground.
  • Tie a rope around the tree and pull the tree towards your direction. Pull gently and not with force. Do this till the tree stands upright. Because it is a bigger tree, you might need some assistance if the tree is too heavy.
  • You will need a bigger and firm rope to hold the tree. Secure the stake and rope after straitening the leaning tree.
  • After 6–10 weeks you can remove the stake. But if you notice the tree begins to lean again, you will need to put the tree support back. At least for some weeks until your tree has become straight without the need for support.

Straightening a Big Leaning Tree

Check out this video on how to stake a tree.


  • Be careful while trying to bend or pull the trunk of the tree upright to avoid damaging the trunk.
  • Monitors your staked tree. Loosen the ties if you notice they are too tight. This will prevent the bark and trunk of the tree from getting weak.
  • The wire wind around the branch should be removed. This is because when the tree grows, it can grow around the wires. This can stop the natural movement of water and nutrients.


    Do trees straighten themselves?

    Many people wonder if trees straighten themselves as time goes by, but that is not true. It is not possible for a tree to do it on their own. What happens instead, is that the pressure from the weight of dead tree branch and other leaves causes some convulsive movements in the trunk of the tree which eventually lead it to become even again.

    How can I make my tree straight?

    You can use a string and tie it to the trunk of the tree in order to pull it up, or you can use a garden spreader to push it down.

    How do you train a tree to shape?

    When you plant a new tree, you are planting it in a footprint that has already been cleared by another tree. If the first tree was planted in a circular shape and the second in a rectangle, then after time, the second would only grow taller than the first.

    It is an old-timey practice, but it is effective for larger trees. You should either dig an even bigger hole next to your existing one or use twine to stake down the first tree's branches.

    The conical shape allows for soil to be collected around its base without allowing water to infiltrate and rot your trunk.

    Will a leaning tree eventually fall?

    One major consideration in a leaning tree is the ground's stability. The other consideration is the height of the tree and its weight distribution.

    The leaning trees seem to be standing tall, but they are actually in a state of balance that makes them vulnerable to external forces.

    When should I be concerned about leaning trees?

    Most people don't think about leaning trees until something bad happens. They might not take the time to inspect the trees in their yard or in their friends' yards, which can lead to a disaster.

    The best way to know if your tree is leaning is to look for warning signs such as branches that are touching the ground or leaves that are growing at an angle. If you see these warning signs, it's time to call an arborist or a land surveyor!

    Some people think that leaning trees are more prone to storm damage than straight ones because they don't have any support for wind gusts. However, it has been proven that this is not true because wind gusts can also cause straight trees to break off.

    How much lean on a tree is too much?

    There are many ways to determine how much lean on a tree is too much. The first thing is to look at the slope of the ground under the tree. If there is a significant drop-off it indicates that there's too much lean.

    The second way to check for too much lean is to check the size of the tree stump after it has fallen over. If there are rings of wood around the stump, most likely they are not from new growth but from rot. This would indicate that it's time to take action because there's too much lean on that tree and it may fall over soon.

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