Help needed re leaning trees

I live in an exposed site in Highland Scotland which is exposed to fairly constant wind. We used to be protected by a shelter belt of trees which disrupted the airflow, but these were felled a few years ago. As the result, a number of young trees which we had planted in our garden have developed a distinct lean of about 15 degrees. They were originally planted with diagonal stakes and left for three or four years, but these were removed in the end due to bark damage. The trees developed a lean despite the staking as well. Since then we have tried single upright and multiple stakes, but have not been able to correct the lean or indeed prevent it from getting worse, and bark damage is a distinct problem because of movement caused by the wind strength. The trunks are no more than a couple of inches in diameter and they are maybe 8-10 feet high now. (This is with the exception of a larger willow about 4 inches wide and considerably taller). The soil is OK down for about a foot and is then clay, meaning that the top is less stable due to holding the water, and I am guessing the trees arent rooted that deeply. Most recently, they were staked upright using three stakes in a triangle pattern around them, webbing and a frame around the top, but after a couple of years when the stakes were weakened by rain and weather and needed removal, the lean had not been corrected at all. Any ideas whats the best way to get these trees straight again, and to keep them that way?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    'Exposed site' says it all.  If you look at trees on a coast you will see they have a distinct lean.

    Maybe you need to start with a shelter belt as was there before. This will give a sheltered area for your trees.  Were the trees small and sturdy when you planted them ? 

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    Sorry simon, you will seriously struggle in a location like that without some form of windbreak.

  • I did the unthinkable...and planted a leylandii hedge image. But I still had to put mesh 4 ft high to stop wind burn. We get ridiculous stormy winds where we live..West Coast of Scotland... And it was the only way to get some respite and protection from the wind. I have 4 other trees that have grown much higher than the hedge  ( not staked) and they have leaned and nothing I've tried has helped .

  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373

    What sort of trees are they? Could they be trimmed to give an illusion of being straight? Sorry if this is a ridiculous idea but a neighbour of ours has a tree that is straight but the top is like a right angle triangle

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