A leaning tree can be anything from harmful to your tree, an aesthetic problem or even a potential danger and safety hazard. Making sure a tree grows straight is easiest when you're planting a new tree, but it's also often possible to help correct the growth of an already established tree depending on its age and size.
A leaning tree isn't always a problem if you need to leave it be — many trees correct their lean on their own — but in certain situations you may need to have the tree removed:
Planting A New Tree
New trees are often top heavy and their root structures haven't had the chance to expand, which makes them more prone to leaning. A new tree can also lean as fresh soil from a new planting starts to compact. However, new trees are also the most easily fixed. If you use a support structure to help the tree grow, you can help it grow straight while its roots take hold.
For smaller trees, you should only need a single post attached to the trunk of the tree and fastened gently with rubber or coated wire. Don't use a sharp or unprotected wire, and don't tie the tree too tightly; the bark is delicate, and too much pressure can cause the wire to dig into the bark and damage the tree. For larger trees, you may need a larger post (or multiple posts). You may also need additional support if the tree is particularly tall or top heavy.
In the vast majority of cases you should only use this support post for a single growing season, as this is all that is necessary for the tree's roots to take hold. Anything beyond that could hamper the tree's growth. At the very least, the support will no longer be useful.
Fixing Established Trees
Fixing a leaning tree that has been planted for some time isn't always difficult, but it is more time consuming. Your goal is to fix a leaning tree like braces fix teeth; attach a support post standing straight up near the tree's trunk and loosely attach it to the truck with rope, wire or rubber cable. Over the coming months, gradually tighten the cable to very slowly pull the tree up straight. This gives the tree's trunk and roots time to adjust and so the tree will not break or die.
The smaller the tree, the easier this will be to accomplish. If your tree is too large, you may not be able to do this at all.
Sometimes a tree may be leaning too dangerously to fix or may be too large. The tree may also be dead or dying or have a weak root structure, which means there is a risk of it falling. If one of these trees is near a house or car or where people frequent, the tree will need to be removed for safety purposes. A tree removal service can generally cut the tree down, but may charge extra to take the stump or to cut up the tree and remove it. It can be a pricey procedure, but it's better than paying for damage or injury caused by the tree falling over unexpectedly.
To learn more, contact a company like Robert Jefferies Logging & Tree Service with any questions or concerns you have.