Straighten the Bent Trunk or Branch of a Garden Plant - Part 2

(This is the continuation of Part 1)

The double splint method of straightening the bend of the trunk or branch of a plant uses two straight and relatively rigid rods or slats. The branch or trunk is then "sandwiched" in between the two rod or slats. This is a stronger splint and prevents the tying material from touching the branch or trunk.

How to Correct the Curve of a Crooked Branch or Trunk

The materials and procedure outlined below applies to a garden plant with a trunk that is around 1/4" in diameter. Any thicker or more mature branch or trunk would need thicker or more rigid splints.


  • Bamboo strips - 2 pcs. roughly 1/4" thick and 3/4" wide. These will function as the splints.
  • Thin wire or twist ties - for tying the two splints with the trunk.


  1. Cut two bamboo strips with a length that will match the length of the curved trunk when straightened.

  2. Slowly and carefully straighten the trunk. Position the bamboo strips on both sides of the trunk.

    These bamboo strips don't have to be staked into the ground. Press the two strips firmly against the trunk as shown below.

  3. Determine which side branches or leaves that obstruct in the splinting process. Remove these side branches and leaves. In the above photo there is a small branch in an awkward position on the right side.

  4. With the splints firmly pressed against the trunk of the plant, wrap a thin wire on the splints sandwiching the trunk. Avoid letting the wire touch the trunk.

  5. Wrap as tightly as possible. Secure the ties by twisting both ends of the thin wire together. Unlike the technique for weak or broken branches where splinting is for support in aiding recovery, this splinting process requires strong opposing forces to counter the behavior of the plant's trunk growth.

  6. Continue wrapping and tying on the other points along the trunk that will ensure the splints will keep the plant's trunk reasonably straight. In the photo below, the tied points are 2 or 3 inches apart along the splint.

  7. If the splinted plant leans to one side (as is evident in the above photo), stake a longer and thicker bamboo rod on the opposite side of the lean.

  8. Tie a stiff thin wire on the bamboo stake and fasten to the splinted trunk as shown below. This will keep the splinted part of the trunk as vertical as possible.

  9. Some parts of the plant may need to be tied to the bamboo stake. In the photo below, two top branches of the plant are held together with a blue thin wire. One of them is then tied to the bamboo stake using the yellow thin wire. This will keep the branches together and the entire plant upright.

Depending on the plant itself, as well as the thickness and maturity its trunk, it may take around 6 months up to a year for the plant to adapt permanently to the new shape.

Until that happens, occasionally inspect the inside of the splints and the contact with the trunk as well as foliage that has been constricted because of the splint. Mealybugs and other insects may find the nooks and crevices as living spaces. Flush them out with water or a bit of alcohol.

(See Part 3 for the continuation of this article)

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