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Received a pin oak from my uncle a little less than two years ago as a transplant. It's about 9ft tall today. The tree had a noticeable bend to it when when it was transplanted. I tried staking it, but that appears to have made things worse as the top is growing very crooked. I've been doing a bit of research online and it seems that staking is a somewhat contentious practice. I've removed all the staking.

A couple of questions for the community. I don't mind a little bend, but the current bend at the top is excessive. Is it likely the tree will straighten up if I leave it alone? Can I use guy wires to help fix this or will it only make matters worse?

Thanks for any input.

Here's a picture of the pin oak in question

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If the tree has been planted for over a year you do not need a stake and should remove that t-Bar. Consider the direction of the prevailing wind. If the tree is leaning away from that direction you may have a clue.

Also, I notice the large branch midway up heading off in the direction of your house. Branches do not move up as the tree grows and the thought of a large branch at waist level is uncomfortable. I recommend cutting the branch off cleanly which will reduce the weight on that side. Once you have done that does the tree sit straighter?

Splinting, as Paul Nardini suggests, is a viable option but not a set and forget one. The splint should be removed every year and reset to accommodate the current year's growth

  • Thanks for the input. The t-bar has been removed. I will be pruning the large branch -- I was afraid to do too much pruning right after the transplant. I'll be pruning that branch once the colder temps arrive for good. – impoliticus Oct 5 '16 at 23:54
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You can still straighten that tree with a couple splints.

http://hort.ufl.edu/woody/year-two-splint1.shtml gives an overview. Wrap it, against it's will, tightly to something straight and let it go for a season.

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