GLT's Grow: Can This Tree Be Saved? | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Can This Tree Be Saved?

Apr 29, 2016

Mark's tree was partially blown over by a storm.
Credit Mark Hill

When a beloved tree suffers a blow, we naturally want to do what we can to save it.

And when a nasty storm has partially uprooted a tree, we instinctively  want to find ways to hoist it up and anchor it back down to the ground.  But is that the right thing to do?

  • Mark from Bloomington sent Grow host Patrick Murphy a photo of an evergreen near his home.  A storm partially uprooted the tree and mark, being very fond of this specimen, wondered if it could be saved.
  • It can be done, but the real question is, should it be done? Cables can be used to put the tree back in its place and allow the roots to hopefully recover.
  • But it would appear Mark's tree has too many roots that have been severed.  Even righting the tree and holding it up with cables is no guarantee it will survive.  Plus, there's the cost of hiring the professionals needed to do the job.  It's not an inexpensive proposition.
  • As time goes on, the restraints will have to be moved to accommodate the tree as it grows.  This, too, is risky and can possibly injure the tree, cracking the bark and allowing in disease. 
  • Murph recommended Mark cut down the tree and plant another tree in its spot.  Having a smaller tree in an already established tree population will add interest to the tree line and look very natural.