July 11, 2021 at 6:04 pm Reply
Good afternoon, I am new to this page but not to gardening, well there are a lot of things I do not know what to do about this is why I would like to ask if anyone knows how or what to do about a Kilmarnock Willow tree that has been blown almost a flat, we did have a post in it next to the trunk and a overnight when it was windy it got blown at an angle, it has been with us for 16 years and would be very unhappy to lose it.
Does anyone know if there any way of is any way of lifting it upright again please? Thanking you in advance.July 16, 2021 at 4:41 am Reply
Ouch that must have hurt, being swept nearly to the ground like that! Have you tried gently pulling it vertical again? How big is it? At 16 it’s already rather large-ish, I guess. Did the root ball lift up out of the ground or not? Hopefully, yes, since it’s easier to just pull the tree back into place. A tree with a broken trunk can’t really recover very well.
You can try to set a plank along the back side of the trunk, with lots of padding to spread the force along a large portion of the trunk. Tie a belt with those ratchet cranks (I think they’re called cargo belts or cargo ropes) around it and pull the tree upright. You’d need a stake or a thick neighboring tree to serve as the fixed point there.
Do you have any pictures?July 16, 2021 at 9:54 am Reply
Good morning Nate, bless you for replying to me.
Yes it has stood for 16 years so it is large, when first planted it was staked and tied with a proper tree support band and this was what snapped in the windy weather we had, guess it had rubbed over the years and just gave way.
The tree is leaning very much but the trunk and the roots are firmly set in the ground, if I knew of some very strong men then it may lift back but alas do not know of any. Seriously though it would take something strong to lift it back, and the idea you have given sounds good using a plank but have no trees near to it. The garden is surrounded by mixed wild hedging but are not close enough to use for this, you have given some good advice of what needs to be done so will have a go, the trunk is all in tact and the tree has a lot of fresh shoots on it.
Guessing it could be left in that position but leaning too far over covering all manner of shrubs etc., do not suppose it matters about them but will give your idea a go and will let you know if this works. I do not have one of those camera’s to take a photo to show you just a old fashioned pay as you go.
I am extremely grateful for your help and can not thank you enough for replying to me.
Take care, and will reply when the tree is up or even if it still leaning over.
P.S know I have replied to myself as unsure how to reply straight to you, I am not too good at this computer carry on but learning something new each day as being the wrong side of 50 is hard going. xJuly 21, 2021 at 10:29 am Reply
Hi again fingers-09, you did great in replying as you did: the conversation keeps getting longer that way and other readers can find what they need, too!
I do hope it’s possible to raise the tree back. Usually this works well when simply the roots sheared and the whole stump pivoted with the trunk. Basically, putting the tree back straight is like filling a hole with a plug.
It might not work very well though in this case, since the trunk is probably split and torn inside, under the bark, where it isn’t visible. Kind of like a bone that’s shattered under the skin: these are very difficult to straighten and heal. The tree has a greater chance of surviving if you don’t try to pull it straight again, actually. Try to see if you can’t find its new shape appealing, or if your landscaping can make this act of nature something more beautiful than it seems. But if you’re willing to take the risk, then make sure it doesn’t sway or twist in any other direction than the one to bring it upright again.
If bad comes to worse, remember you can start lots of cuttings from this willow, and it’ll be like having dozens of offspring from the tree!July 21, 2021 at 4:20 pm Reply
I am extremely grateful for your reply and completely understand what you are saying, am thinking it would be better to leave it as you have said. It does give the garden character and the main thing is the birds still use it to sleep in it’s tangled web of wood and leaves as it is. So with this in mind, and it is thanks to you it can stay leaning adding a good and different look. would rather do this than lose it altogether as I know if I tried to erect it that it would be all over, and as it is an old friend which needs lots of attention I can do this easily.
I am so very grateful to you for answering my question also that I found this site, you have been wonderful with your advice. Never thought that I would get anyone to go through this with me and your help has saved my Kilmarnoch Willow Tree. xxJuly 21, 2021 at 4:24 pm Reply
😀 😀 😀
Happy to have met you, glad I was of help!July 21, 2021 at 4:32 pm Reply
By the way, for the future, you should know that it’s best to remove the stake completely after a couple years: roots have spread and can take over holding the tree up. Keeping the stake and tether from that point does the tree a disservice, since it doesn’t learn to stand on its own. Anyway, isn’t that what growing old together is all about, learning from each other’s experience as seasons come and go?
I can only imagine the dramatic setting your frizzly willow now adds to the garden, it’s also one of my favorites!
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