Oak seedling

I planted an oak seedling last year, it is doing great but I have a concern about wind. Where I live it can get windy especially in spring and during storms. The seedling's trunk at the base is only about 1/2-1inch in diameter and the leaves are in a ball at the top, which is about 7-8 feet tall. I stake it to about 4ft but now the top sways like a poodle's tail in a dog show. Will my seedling grow to be crooked? I have several other trees that have grown to look like they had been planted by the Piza designers in Italy. So I am not a nut. Please help.
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Phil Palmer wrote:

See the next-to-last paragraph of my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_oak_acorn.html . This might NOT work for all oaks, but the result was excellent for my Q. lobata.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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David, Thanks for the advice. I will try it because I have several other seedlings to replace one. What time of year is best to top my seedling? Higgledy
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higgledy wrote:

First, let the oak grow almost like a shrub, with multiple stems. This is the way many seedling oaks grow. Allow it to grow this way for 3-5 years, until the stems are at least as thick as broom sticks.
Then, when the stems are stiff, select one to keep (generally, the most upright of them). In the late winter or early spring (depending on your climate), head the stem you are keeping and remove the others. The best time is while the tree is dormant, about 4 weeks before new buds break. Live oaks and other evergreen oaks do go dormant in that they seem to stop growing; cut these about 4 weeks before new growth resumes.
Although oaks are considered slow to grow, a young oak can grow 3-4 feet a year. Even at that pace, getting a full grown tree from an acorn takes much patience. It is almost 30 years since I picked up the acorn that is now the oak near my driveway. The trunk is now over 18 inches in diameter at chest height. The tree is about 30 feet tall with a much wider branch spread. A sapling from an acorn from this tree is in a nearby park. (The ash tree in my back yard is about 5 years older. Its trunk is almost 3 feet diameter -- twice the oak's diameter -- and is about 50 feet high. But long after the ash tree is firewood, the oak will still be considered young.)
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David E. Ross
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All the acorns that sprout in the woods around me only have a single stem. The only time I see multiple stems is when the main leader is cut close to the ground. Oaks are pretty sturdy and maintenance free. Letting your 7-8 ft tree sway, rather than staking it, will actually help strengthen it and help it grow upright. Any Pisa-like tilt will work its way out over time.
-al sung Rapid Realm Technology, Inc. Hopkinton, MA (Zone 6a)
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Alan Sung wrote:

In a protected environment that might be true with eastern oaks. Western oaks might start as single-stemmed seedlings but become somewhat shrubby as saplings. (The original post failed to indicate a location.) Even in the east, however, rodents and insects might find the leader to be very tasty. The result is shrub-like. In nature, the tree will eventually grow with a single trunk despite any such trauma -- if it survives at all. Then, the other low branches will die back and fall away.
A garden is NOT nature. We can huury things along (but not much). To get strong shoots, head them (the same way nature uses a rabbit). Once a well-placed, strong shoot is identified, remove the others without waiting for die-back. This might take 5-6 years in the garden versus 10-20 years in nature.
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