Straightening a Bent Tree Trunk?

I ordered two sunburst locust trees on-line at They were $80 each, double of the price on the same tree at other sites. I specially told the sales representative that I didn't want crooked trees. She agreed and wrote down the note.


However, when the trees arrived, one of the two is bent at a 45-degree angle. The next day, the leaves on both trees started falling off. I called the customer service number; they insisted that the trees look healthy and are only "slightly" bent. They will only return $8 for compensation. If I return the trees, I have to pay shipping cost plus 25% restocking fee.

I am very unhappy and disappointed with the trees. Can anyone here tell me how to straighten the tree? Also, why do the leaves fall off? Are they dying?

Hardiness Zone: 5b

By J C

Bent locust tree trunk.

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

I forgot to write about the leaves.
Since you ordered this tree from online I presume it was happily spending its days in a greenhouse until it was placed in a bag or box and sent to you. That is pretty stressful when you haven't even felt a breath of wind yet in your little tree life. Trees lose their leaves in an attempt to prevent water and nutrient loss, deciduous trees do this annually. And this is sometimes why you'll see trees drop large amounts of leaves during the summer during dry spells. They aren't confused, just trying to be more efficient.


Your tree was probably on a happy diet of fertilizer once every two weeks as well. Suddenly it's diet is helter skelter so it is playing it safe. If you potted the tree in feeding potting soil, hold off on the fertilizing or you may burn the roots and that means bye bye tree. Read up on how to fertilize your plants so they are healthy and happy. A good rule is to cut the serving size of any purchased fertilizer in half along with the application frequency. That way you totally avoid burn and prevent yummy N from being wasted as it flows out the bottom of your pot.
Hope this all helps.

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the tips. I ordered two kinds of trees in the same shipment, 2 sunburst locusts and 1 weeping willow. The weeping willow grows very nicely. The leaves attached to the trunk firmly are growing bigger and greener. Compared to the weeping willow, the locus trees seem dying. Now all leaves have fallen off. The branches that used to support the leaves now turned brown (burned, as in your words). I suspect the trees have been infected some disease before shipment. What I can do now is keep watering and fertilizing. I'll see how they are when the spring comes


Have learned a lesson. I would never order a tree on-line again. First of all, you can't pick the trees. The shippers just ship whatever left in the warehouse to you. Secondly, They have the sort of attitude that after the trees are shipped, it's not their business anymore. If you don't like your trees, it's your problem. The cost of returning a tree is almost the same as the tree price. If your tree dies within a year and you want a replacement, you will have to pay a certain percentage of the tree price for the replacement. If the replacement does not work out well, Sorry, that's the only chance you have. Their prices are also higher than the local nurseries.

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