How do I fix this leaning tree after what Wilma did to it?

I have an oriental fruit tree, called "Longan"? it's about 15 to 18 feet tall, and many trees in my neighborhood fell after Wilma, it stood up. I was happy that it did not snap (the metal light pole ten feet from it snapped in half!).
But when I inspected it real close, I can see that it is now leaning a little bit. Also as I walked on one side, the soil is very soft and loose, as if the root has been pulled up a bit.
How do I fix this? If I ignore it it probably will grow until the next storm and that's it. Is there a way to "right" it? The trunk is about 12 inches in diameter.
MC
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You can try staking it. Apply some rope around a strong point on the tree, and pad it with something so that it doesn't dig into the trunk. Fasten it to a firm stake(s) in the ground. You may not be able to straighten it immediately, so it is preferable to do this gradually by taking up slack on the rope from time to time. With that large a tree, you may need some helping hands or some kind of mechanical advantage to get the tree to move. I once straigtened a tree using pulleys and a car jack.
Sherwin D.
miamicuse wrote:

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Thanks for the advise, the problem however is actually getting to a point where I can stake it.
This is a picture of what the situation is:
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-10/1090906/treeleaning.JPG
The tree is near the corner of a fenced area. I added some red dashes to show where the roots are coming up and the soil is loosened...and the green arrows showing how it is leaning.
I need to push it in the opposite direction. I cannot use a car or truck inside the fence as cars cannot access that area. To it's left is a swimming pool and another tree.
I along with two other neigbors tried pushing it by hand, didn't yield at all.
I outlined the fences in two colors. The brown outlined side butts up against my neighbor, who has a pool on the other side, so can't pull from there. Otherwise that would be the right direction to pull.
On the other side of the blue fence is a back alley wide enough for cars. This is where they come pick up garbage. I can get a truck in there to pull using a rope? But it will be pulling at an angle instead. Also, the main truck is lower than the fence where I can apply leverage, so may be pulling will mess up the fence.
Is this tree caught between "a pool and a fence"? I can see no good solution...
MC

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My $0.02...
Even though the soil in the red dashed area is "very soft and loose", it is compacted enough to prevent you from pushing the tree upright. The suggestion here is to dig under that area, damaging existing roots as much as possible. When you have excavated enough dirt, you should be able to push the tree upright and backfill. Of course, you want to be careful about not digging too deep a hole to avoid the tree ending up lower in the ground. Lots of work, though.
The alternative would be to seek professional help. Those folks have the equipment to handle situations like this. I bet they'll do something like bring in a crane of some sort, dig around the red dashed area, pull the tree upright, and backfill.

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On Sun, 30 Oct 2005 11:36:28 -0500, "miamicuse"

anywhere. The side of the root system away from the lean has been damaged, and most likely the resulting gap in the soil was backfilled naturally, so there is no longer a hole down there to push the tree back into.
The big question is, can you pull it over more? Obviously you don't want to put too much into testing this or you might just pull it down. But you want a sense of how much the roots are still holding (the roots between the tree and the red fence--and beyond--are what keep the tree from falling in the direction of the lean). If it seems pretty strong, you probably had more of a soil shift than anything, and you should enjoy the character of your now-leaning tree. If it seems you could pull the whole thing over, you've lost a lot of roots and you need to help the tree maintain the current lean (as opposed to going further toward failure). It might be nice if the fence were farther away, but you can put in a stake near the fence and tether the trunk to it. That will help hold the tree up until roots can regrow on the damaged side. After a year or so, remove the staking and hope for the best.
good luck, Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
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A tree the size you have there can still be brought back to an upright position. The supplyies I suggest for you is get some old hose and some cable and turnbuckles and some long stakes. Make sure you get the stakes in deep and then loop the cable around the tree and connect it to the turnbuckle then connect the turnbuckle to cable from the stake. This will give an easy way to tighten your cable up you can do it in a rather small space. Peiodically tighten the cable until it the tree is in the position you desire. Keep it staked for at least a year after that to make sure itis fully rooted. Chuckie
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Here is what I did to straighten a leaning tree. I went to the building supply and bought 2 long jack post. (these were 3 or 4 inch dia. steel pipe post 8 feet tall with a screw thread cap on top) I put blocks of wood at an angle in the ground and nailed a 1X6 to a 2X4 to make V shaped blocks to place under limbs. I installed the jacks until tight and then tightened a couple of turns a day with the jack, sometimes more with 1 jack than the other to keep it going in the right direction. 3 weeks later the tree was back to where it was originally. I left the jacks in place for about 6 months and it stayed in place when they were removed. I did cover the screw threads with grease, so I'll have them to use again for whatever. That was 3 years ago and no need has come along!!
Tom J
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As I eluded to in an earlier reply, it is a matter of leverage, even in this cramped space. You could drive a stake into the corner of the fence. Attach a cable to the stake and tree. This will create a pull angle both downward and back, but I think you will be able to generate enough back pressure to move the tree backwards. Intersperce with an inline jack, probably available at a rentall place. This worked for me in a similar predicatment. You could also use a pulley to vector the cable away from the fence to give you more room to attach the jack. In case you are wondering, I got a lot of experience from raising and lowering the mast of my sailboat in similar cramped quarters. I also righted a large red cedar that fell over and was planted close to my building.
Sherwin D.
miamicuse wrote:

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I'll take the unpopular opinion and say leave it b alone. It will right itself to face the sun in time, and curved trunks add character to trees and homes anyway.
Heck- compared to 90% of my backyard it looks just dandy!
-- Toni South Florida USA Zone 10b http://ww.cearbhaill.com
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