Oak Trees
Q.

Height of oak tree

Zone Odenton, MD 21113 | bobbradshaw added on July 7, 2018 | Answered

I live in a new community and before we moved in I asked for an oak tree on the property. It is a beautiful tree, however near the top, the top of the tree is not growing straight up. It bends to the right. Will it eventually grow straight, or is there a brace I need to put at the point it starts to bend to the right. If a bracket is needed, where would I get one and could you please name the exact brace I need for this tree. Maybe I should let Mother Nature straighten it up?! Many thanks.

A.
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drtreelove
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 7, 2018

Hi Bob; without a photo I can only answer in general terms.
The short answer: leave it alone to find it's own form, or use directional pruning to straighten it. Staking or bracing should be a last resort.
Deviation from vertical growth of a central leader could be the result of a heading cut that redirects growth to a lateral branch. Or it can be the result of excess watering and nitrogen fertilization that stimulates rapid vegetative growth. (If the tree is getting lawn fertilization and irrigation then it could be growing too fast and the tall rapid shoot growth cannot support itself.)
It could be bending to follow the sunlight, especially if shaded on one side. There are other possible reasons.
Don't do any drastic pruning, but sometimes a selective snip of the leaning leader, back to an upright facing bud or shoot will relieve some leaning weight and allow it to straighten up. If you send a photo I may be able to tell you exactly where to cut it, or not.

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