Tree Tubes: Will it straighten out?

One “side effect” of the hyper-speed growth often exhibited by seedlings in tree tubes is that they often shoot out the tops of the tubes and then bend over for a period of time.  Here’s an example:

Sawtooth oak emerging from tree tube

Sawtooth oak bending over after emerging from its tree tube due to super-fast growth. Photo taken spring 2014.

I am often asked:  Will the tree straighten out?  Answer: Yes!  Here’s that same tree, one year later:

Sawtooth oak ermerging from tree tube

Bend? What bend? Same tree one year later. Almost perfectly straight (and a heck of a lot bigger!) Photo taken April 1, 2015.

Trees have an utterly remarkable ability to straighten themselves out.  I remember years ago a longtime member of the Northern Nut Growers Association, Mr. Archie Sparks (a real gentleman, and a vast repository of tree growing knowledge) showed a set of a photographs of a tree he had pruned.  The young walnut tree had a forked leader, about 6ft from the ground.  Archie chose the stronger of the two leaders and pruned the other off.  As a result of pruning one arm of the Y the tree, as you can imagine, had a significant crook.  One would think that the tree could never recover from that crook and become a high value timber/veneer tree.  Wrong!  Archie showed a slide (Yes, we used slides back then.  Man I miss slide shows!) taken several years later.  The tree was ramrod straight, the crook in the trunk completely gone.

Trees literally defy gravity.  More specifically, they sense gravity and allocate growth resources to counteract it.  They also can “see” the lightest part of the sky and direct their growth toward it.  Again, more specifically, the sense the darker blue of the sky near the horizon and grow away from it.

Trees pretty darn cool.  Since you are here reading this I know you agree!

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