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Tall, Spindly Young Red Oak

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From: Susan R.
Ottawa, Canada, ZZ
I have a strange issue with a young (~ 4 yr. old) red oak. It has sprung up so quickly it can't support itself. It's got a great shape, one main trunk, no crotches, good branch spacing, but it's grown so quickly it can't even nearly support itself. (I bought another red oak at the same time, it was the same size, same growing conditions, and is now about half the height of the "super-grower" oak). I've got the problem tree staked in several places, but I'm afraid I'm just allowing it to grow like crazy and remain weak. I do not want to top it, but see no other choice. What to do with this unusual red oak? Thanks!

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Susan:

Yeah, I've seen that with some other oak species (bur oak saplings) in natural forest conditions. I would simply "lightly" stake and guy the highly energetic red oak for now and then slowly ween this tree from the stakes toward the end of the growing season or next year.

You're doing everything I would be doing...

Best, Jay

From: Susan Romaniuk
Ottawa, Canada, ZZ
Thanks so much for the reply. I've seen this thing before with quick-growing types of trees, but never an oak (in this part of the woods anyway). I'll do as suggested - I'd hate to lose or wreck this lovely tree.

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