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We had a landscaper plant a Desert Museum Palo Verde tree in our garden. However, the one they chose is lop-sided in that all the branches are on or bent towards one side.

Would it be possible to train the branches to bend the other way so the tree is more symmetrical? (We currently have two stakes to hold it straight up, more or less.)

Palo Verde

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You can most definitely train the branches for more symmetry. One thing you can try is use some bonsai wire, 4-5mm should be a good size and wire the branches. There are lots of tutorials online on how to wire branches using the two branch principle.

If you don't want to spend money on wire, you could tie a string to a pot or rock and then tie the other end to the branch and slowly yank it into the right position.

Lastly, and this might be the best option, don't train/bend the branches at all. It seems like the sun is shining in the opposite direction of the bend. So surely, new branches will start to emerge facing the reverse direction and fill out the negative space in the tree, making it more symmetrical. Once the tree is growing nicely and you have more branches and if you still want to, you can just prune the branches whose directions you don't like.

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  • Yes, we planted it with the branches facing north, so, hopefully, you'll be right and new branches will eventually sprout facing south. But if, for some reason that doesn't really happen (or happen enough), I was thinking about training the current branches before they got too thick, i.e., beyond the point of being trained. Apr 2 at 17:21

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