Birch trees are used for landscaping due to their delicate foliage, bark coloration and susceptibility to insects. Towering up to 50 feet in height, these trees stand out against any background and make a bold statement. However, sometimes severe windstorms or soil erosion may cause them to lean to one side. Mend these trees immediately to prevent them from tearing at the roots, which could be dangerous for people or structures nearby. It's possible to fix a leaning birch tree yourself instead of hiring and paying a professional to do it.
Wrap measuring tape around the trunk to determine its width. Dig a circle in the ground around the birch tree, spanning 10 inches for each inch of trunk. It should be 2 inches deep. This trench will help loosen the roots so they do not snap when you begin straightening it. Do not dispose of the dirt, but collect it around the tree in mounds.
Wind a length of old rag around the trunk of the birch tree and knot it firmly. Wind chain or rope over the rag around the trunk, extend it and tie it to a truck. The rag will act as padding for any damage to the trunk caused by pressure.
Start the engine of the truck or tractor and slowly move it forward so the tree begins to straighten. Check the rear view mirror to stop when the trunk is just straight, or you could cause it to lean the other side. Ask a friend to signal when to stop.
Replace the dirt back in the trench. Water the tree thoroughly and frequently to help it root again, which could take up to a year.
Insert three wooden stakes into the ground, spaced evenly apart. Wind a length of wire around one and extend to the other two, in turn. Also extend it around the trunk of the tree, and then back again. This will help stabilize the tree and keep it straight. Do not remove the padding around the trunk as you wind wire around it.
Things You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- Chain or rope
- Garden hose
- 3 wooden stakes
- When staking the tree, you can also use something pliable and soft such as a vinyl hose.