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1/2 done with planting all these 2-3 foot trees, and have a ?

12 years ago

First of all let me say at the outset that I don't question for a moment Forest Farm's integrity or commitment to their craft. All the trees we received are EXTREMELY healthy, and they all have more buds than I have ever seen on a tree in my entire life, more than any other nursery ever. And the roots of these trees! Holy Mackerel! Huge root systems. Some of these trees had roots over 3 feet long! A few of them were potbound, massively so, to the point we had to practically bareoot them to untangle the mess. I felt like I was untangling my daughter's hair all over again. But most of the trees were not pot bound at all and a complete breeze to plant.

Okay now to my question.

4 of these healthy trees are leaning. 3 of them are leaning somewhat, not embarrassingly so, but they are leaning over maybe at 30 degree angle, and this one special tree is leaning at a 45 degree angle. When the next door neighbor came out to see how we were doing this afternoon he laughed at it and asked if it arrived on the short bus. I wasn't overjoyed at the remark but I knew he meant no harm. Honestly, it's a darling tree in that it's healthy and budded all over the place, but it leans at a 45 degree angel, from the very bottom of the tree to the top.

The other 3 trees are straight until half-way up, and THEN begin leaning. They are NOT bent. They look more like they are bending over to throw up. lol I have tried carefully bending them back and it has worked a little with the 3 trees. It's a very bendable tree. I think these trees can easily be trained to grow straight.

But this 45 degree angel "short bus" tree, not only leans at 45 degree angel but the top leader, the ONLY leader it has, was TOPPED. All the other trees' leaders have buds on them, but this tree doesn't because it was topped.

I called Forest Farm and Patty, who was lovely to talk to, said that Ray said all the these trees can be trained to grow straight in one growing season. That's great. We'll be staking them tonight.

But Patty said on this 4th short bus tree that she does not know why it was topped, but we will have to make a new leader. She said find a branch near the top, (which we have) and force it to become a new leader.

So my question is how do I force it to do that?

And my other question is, is it normal for trees, that are still babies at 2-3 feet, to lean so much? The other trees are perfectly straight. I know that trees in the forest aren't perfectly straight, but I want my trees straight. I paid a lot of money for them.

Oh, and we used ALL native soil. My husband went to work this afternoon feeling EVERY single shovel maneuver he made. He did a great job and we had a TON of native soil from our yard to backfill the holes. We saw so many rocks and earthworms! I saw at least a million of each. We dug from a back corner of our yard that looks like a mini gravel pit as we speak.

Anyway, if anyone could tell me if baby trees leaning are a "typical" finding in nurseries. And how do we force a new leader, or will this little branch just naturally take over? It looks like it could if it decided to.

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