Straightening cypress

BACKYARD Q&A

April 25, 1999

Q. I have a row of young Leyland cypress that was hammered by the January ice storm. I pruned out the broken branches, but most of the trees are either leaning over or have a trunk that is bent over. Will they grow up straight and healthy?

A. They should be fine as long as the roots and crown were not damaged. Pull the leaners up into a vertical position and gently tamp soil down around the base. If they continue to lean, stake and tie them for support.

The bent trunks should slowly straighten out, but some may develop a permanent crook. You could top these trunks off below the crook if you find them too unsightly. New shoots will emerge from below the pruning cut, but only one should be selected to be the new leader.

Garden tips are provided by the Home and Garden Information Center of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Maryland. For additional information on these questions, or if you have questions of your own, call the center's hot line at 800-342-2507, or visit its Web site at www.agnr.umd.edu/users/hgic.

THIS WEEK'S CHECKLIST

1. Remove the silken webs of the Eastern tent caterpillar from wild cherry and crab apple trees with a hard water spray or by pruning out infested branches.

2. Repot over grown vegetable and flower transplants into larger containers

3. Bring your compost pile back to life by turning the pile and incorporating grass clippings, aged farm manure or a soluble notrogen source.

Pub Date: 04/25/99

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