How to Straighten Apple Trees

Overview

Whether you have a few apple trees or an entire orchard, each tree has the potential to grow unruly and bent. Since there are many determining factors for trees growing crooked such as the type of soil they are planted in, weather conditions (ice or wind), the root system of the tree, an obstruction, or sometimes, a rushed, mechanical planting can be to blame. No matter what the cause, an apple tree growing crooked can be corrected with the least effort while the tree is still young and less established.

Step 1

Move or eliminate any obvious reason that could cause apple trees to grow bent such as, most commonly, an obstruction.

Step 2

Use a hammer to drive two wooden or metal stakes into the ground to secure leverage for straightening. Drive the stakes on the side that the tree is growing away from.

Step 3

Using heavy scissors or pruners, cut a two-foot length of rubber hose.

Step 4

Run wire through the rubber hose to prevent contact between the wire and tree.

Step 5

Secure the wire to one of the stakes, then encircle the main branches of the apple tree with the wire a couple of times.

Step 6

Pull the wire taut to the opposite stake and secure the end of the wire to the stake.

Step 7

Make sure the flexible rubber hose is cushioning the section of wire, making contact with the tree.

Step 8

Allow the tree to straighten under the tension of the wire as it grows.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple trees
  • Wooden or metal stakes (4 -- 5 feet in length; 2 per apple tree)
  • Wire (heavy gauge)
  • Hammer
  • Flexible rubber hose (one 2- to 4-foot length per apple tree)
  • Heavy scissors or pruners (for cutting rubber hose)

References

  • University of Georgia - Planting Young Trees
  • Univeristy of Minnesota - Apples & Pears in Minnesota Home Gardens
  • NC State Univeristy Cooperative Extension Service - Growing Apple Trees in the Home Garden

Who Can Help

  • Arborist Site - Will this young tree straighten up?
Keywords: how to straighten an apple tree, how to stake an apple tree, how to fix a bent apple tree

About this Author

Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several sites and organizations, including eHow.com, Associated Content and various private sectors. She is also the managing debt examiner for the Charlotte Examiner.