What can I do about a leaning tree?
When the sapling was first planted, neighborhood kids (I suspect) were snapping off branches on one side. Every time I discovered a snapped branch I pruned it off to the trunk. The tree is now thriving and getting large, but it's asymmetrical because of the damage they inflicted.
I want to know what I can do to help this tree continue to thrive.
Thank you for your help!
Aesthetically, the tree will look better if it is more balanced. You can take off a few of the lower branches this year. If it is still unbalanced, take off a few next year. Staking will help to straighten the trunk. Use two stakes and protect the bark from rope or wire that you use in staking. Normally staking is done perpendicular to the wind, but in this case, place one stake in the direction that needs straightening. The second stake will stabilize the tree once you have corrected the leaning. Put the stakes in first, then have someone hold the tree upright while you fasten the rope/wire. If necessary, make sure that soil is replaced in staking and then water the tree.