Trees – Straightening A Bent Trunk

Q: I have two fifteen-foot tall trees that were previously crowded by bamboo. They grew at an angle in search of sunlight. Is it possible to straighten the trees with a guy wire attached to a nearby huge poplar?

A: I don’t think you’ll be successful. The heartwood that gives a tree trunk stiffness has areas of compression and tension that allow the trees to stand, even though they are bent. If you pull the trees upright with guy wires, they will have to grow new heartwood with new areas of compression and tension opposite what is there now. The process could take a decade. The attachment points of your guy wires would have to be soft enough to avoid damaging any of the trunks. Try if you like, but I have my doubts.

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