questnature
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Shrubs Leaning

Recently in New Jersey we had two big snow storms back to back during the first storm my tree split in half and landed on the 10 foot bushes. Does anyone out there knows if the bushes will straighten up on their own, the tree
was removed off the bushes and they are still leaving over does it take a while for them bounce back up?
Any help would be greatly appreciated

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Shrubs Leaning

IMHO — TERRIFIC force was applied when the tree fell on them and the shrubs probably suffered internal structural damage. It’s not likely that they will be able to straighten out on their own, but they CAN be repaired like broken bones, especially right now when the rapid spring (cell) growths may supply the impetus needed.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER —
(1) don’t try to straighten them more than they can manage. You may need to gradually coax them into the straightness you desire.
(2) don’t try to work on them when they are frozen. If overnight temps were in the 20’s, wait until it’s up in the 40’s or more during daytime.
(3) any splintery or jagged breaks or cuts will invite infection, so have sharp tools ready to make clean cuts or shave/whittle smooth, and it’s probably best to sterilize the tools between plants — bucket of water with bleach (not sure of amounts) is not often recommended... I use 91% rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.

I think you should try to straighten them with splint-like supports and/or guy lines (you can get ground stakes for this purpose). For this kind of task, I use old leaky garden hoses cut up long enough and string a braided or woven nylon rope through, then use the section padded with the hose around limbs and trunks. You can tie the guy lines onto the splints rather than the limbs and this will spread out the force of the pull to the multiple connection points of the splint (use wide soft fabric like cut up old T-shirts or even plastic grocery bags. Avoid using tape because the adhesive may damage the bark)

- After straightening them as much as they will take without breaking, re-tie the splints and tighten the guy lines once a week until they are back to the way you want.

- look them over carefully and if they would benefit more from pruning, this is a good time to do that for many plants... but let us know what kind of plants they are — some shouldn’t be cut in spring, and some need to wait until a little later.
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questnature
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:09 pm

Re: Shrubs Leaning

Thank you so very much for the information, I am not quite sure what type of bushes they are the spade shaped small leaves .Is it to cold prune now, or somewhere I can post images?

questnature
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:09 pm

Re: Shrubs Leaning Images

Here are some images it seems that the middle of the bushes are holding some of the other branches down, do you think I should prune them down and will they come back. Also when is the best time to prune in we are dealing with 40 degrees during the day and the mid to high 20's some nights in NJ. Shall I wait to prune back till they start budding more and the weather gets warmer?
I do not want to do any more damage to them..
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