I’d like to create a helical twist in the trunk of a young tree. I’m talking about a spiral grain, not just bending it into a coil, etc.

Here’s an example:

here’s an example

I’ve read that it’s still not well understood how this happens in nature, but if I could rig up some clamps to gently twist the trunk around its’ vertical axis and leave them in place could this train the trunk to grow that way?

I don’t know what the tree in the picture is, but the one I want to manipulate is a cherry tree.

  • Please edit your post to include the species of tree.
    – Niall C.
    Dec 8, 2021 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


Many trees have a spiral; the photo is very pronounced. The example is likely in an open area where wind is not restricted. Much of the US has "prevailing westerly" wind. Branches grow bigger on the south side of the tree ( northern hemisphere). A steady westerly wind creates a torque on the trunk because of more branches on the south side. Over time, the tree twists and a different side is on the south side, new branches grow larger and the process repeats. I live in a southern pine forest , the forest shields most wind but there is still a gentle twist. It is more noticeable when the tree dies and the bark falls off revealing the wood. It is a very slow process.

  • Thanks for the info. To be clear, I’m asking if I could force this kind of twist unnaturally using wires, clamps, etc.
    – shwoseph
    Dec 8, 2021 at 19:00
  • It develops over the life of the tree, so it would be a complicated process to plan for cables to be adjusted each year for many years. And unforeseen problems such as steel cables being struck by lightening. Jan 7, 2022 at 19:11

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