Tree leaning over help

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by rlpt, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. rlpt

    rlpt Member

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    Hi I have a Eucalyptus tree in my back yard. It is about 3 years old. Early on I had it roped to hold it up for about 6 months. Now the lean seems to be getting much worse. (please refer to photos its the tall redish one leaning to the left)

    Is it leaning for a reason?

    Can I reverse it?

    Any tips appreciated?
     

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Fast-growing trees such as these frequently rootbound when planted, due to growers not keeping them potted on in a timely manner. If yours has this problem and it does not overcome it on its own later it will have to be replaced. Another factor is that even if it sends anchoring roots out beyond the original knot and stablilizes itself it may strangle itself years from now when the knotted roots thicken enough to constrict the trunk.

    Another consideration is that some gums, particularly high altitude species naturally lean to one side regardless.
     
  3. rlpt

    rlpt Member

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    Ron B:

    That sounds likely as I got the tree cheap at the end of the season and it was very bound up just in the pot. And I do not think I made much of an attempt to lossen the roots prior to planting.
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have seen these lean. In fact the one next door looks great with its lean. You could try cutting it back to where the lean is and make sure the new shoot is encouraged on the opposite side of the current lean. Eucalypts regenerate well and growth will come quickly. On the other hand try anchoring it again but this time have the holding rope pulled out at a wide angle well up the trunk. Make sure the tree is padded where you attach the rope and keep and eye on it so it does not imbed. I suspect it will take a year or more to start seeing a change. I would be re anchoring it

    liz
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd agree with Liz on cutting it back - actually, I'd do so right to the base, and let it re-grow from a stump. You'll get several stout, strong shoots coming up from the stump. After one year, select the straightest of these, and prune out the rest. This new growth will be strong enough not to need any anchoring (and will do better without it, too).
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    How would this correct the binding of the roots, the probable cause of the lean? Another pertinent point: snow gum types, with adult leaves from a small size do not regrow vigorously from being cut back, if this is one of those it won't roar back up in the manner of those which produce circular leaves for some years.
     
  7. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I wouldn't cut back the roots on a gum, this is one where you probably just have try and find specimens that appear to have good roots at time of purchase. You want to do this with all kinds of trees and shrubs of course, but with the problem of deformed roots being pervasive it can be difficult to find acceptable material that you will not have to work on yourself at planting time. Gums ARE rather often sold in small pots, providing an opportunity to perhaps catch them before then have been left to become potbound. But a new item from a different genus - like a new weigela, for instance - available from only one wholesale grower who does not keep things moved up in time may not be available with good roots. If you want to get it you are stuck with dealing with potbound stock.
     
  9. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yeah - a shame no one mentioned that to me when I asked about root pruning it.
     
  10. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Update: I noticed today that the base of this tree is sprouting vigorously, although the top growth is pretty definitely dead. I guess it's decided to be a shrub for a while.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Just grow it as a bush, cutting down periodically if it doesn't freeze down on its own. Much easier to manage than having it make a trunk that turns into an awkward dead log periodically.
     
  12. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    This is normal behaviour for Eucalypt types. After a fire if they are badly burn't enough they come out of the roots. If just a good searing, weeks later all these new sprouts start happening along the branches and trunk. It is amazing to see how quickly they regenerate. After Ash Wednesday 1983 it was total grey devistation at my family home after 20 odd years you would not know if you had not seen it. However many of the old growth trees did not make it but the new forest under their soaring dead branches is truly amazing. The white cockatoos love these dead trees as perches and look like exotic tree ornaments. The Australian bush is an amazing self sufficient entity.

    Liz
     

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