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Should I cut this tree down?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jcims, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. jcims

    jcims Member

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    Hey Folks,

    Have a pretty tall tree right in front of the house that seems to be having some issues. It had appeared to be quite healthy but this year noted these two spots which appear to be rotting out. The problem is the rotting part is directly facing the house. I'd much rather keep it if at all possible, but not at the expense of safety for the family. I know the driveway is way too close to it, I figured it was worth trying to keep and that I'd have some time to notice it starting to get sad.

    Here's a few shots of the bad spots

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't find any 'good' prior shots, this was from ~18 months ago. The affected area would be more to the left, it seems you can see a small 'indent' in the bark approximately where the problem is now.

    [​IMG]
    Nixon likes this.

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  2. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    No idea, but you have a beautiful house!
    Nixon and schlot like this.
  3. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    The top open section looks as if the tree was struck by something and took the bark off, the wood underneath it looks ok for now. The lower spot near the ground looks as if bugs have started to get into the tree there, but I can't be sure. The deciding factor I would consider is that the tree is unshielded and isolated by itself and the potential is there for it to fall victim is greater than being along with other trees.
  4. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Appears to be newer construction with existing tree left from the woodlot.

    The root system was likely compromised during construction, and weakened the tree to insect infestation. Could be termites(the mud under the bark=termites) or carpenter ants or combination of both.

    The bark breaking off is from dead wood moisture/freezing. It could continue into a catspaw but judging from the top the tree will die.

    Can you drop it towards the street? just let the neighbors know the road is closed for a few minutes
    Nixon likes this.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Just my personal opinion, of course, but I think your place would be more attractive without that tree. Rick
    ChrisNJ and smokinj like this.
  6. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Along Rick's point you could plant a nice maple in its place and watch it grow over the years
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, some really attractive "specimen tree" could look nice there, maybe with a small plot around the base for some shrubs or something. Just the lone tall, spindly guy standing there all by himself doesn't do much for me. Rick
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would drop it. Way to much bark lean.
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    The wood at the base doesn't look too good.

    Might be best to remove it and plant something that might not get so tall near the house.
    Maybe a bunch of somethings that don't get so tall around the house.
    If you like shade in the Summer. Just close enough to not be a mold and mildew problem down the road.
  10. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I have a tree next to my house with the exact same issue. I think Basod is probably right. The roots were likely damage and the driveway isn't doing it any good. I'm just keeping an eye on mine more for curiosity than anything. I've only lived here for a couple years, but I'm sure it's been showing damage for a long, long time. The way my tree is leaning means gravity will not allow it to hurt anything if it comes down. I guess if I were you, I'd probably cut it but wouldn't feel too compelled to rush it. I don't think you have an immediate danger on your hands.

    I also agree with Fossil. The tree looks a little lonely there. Probably not the end of the world when it has to go.

    You do have a beautiful house! Your woods looks a lot like mine. Love the midwest woods.

    Is that a large beech in the upper right of the first pick? If so, looks like you might have a bit of beech bark disease there. Hard to tell from the pics, though.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    One thing for sure is that it would be a whole lot easier with less worry if that tree is dropped sometime within the next year.

    We have a neighbor who has a huge oak really close to the house. It is a beauty except the bottom is hollow. An accident waiting to happen and it if happens, the tree goes right into the house. I could not live like that.
  12. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    My personal guess is that you are in no immediate danger from that tree. I think the tree could last years or die quickly, but it will look pretty dead before it is a significant danger. It isn't right on top of your house and it is fairly rare for a person to be killed by a tree (I am not counting tree cutting accidents or car crashes into trees).

    I am wondering what type of tree it is.
  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    It's going to come down.
    Best to now when, how & what direction it's going to fall.
    Not a healthy & pretty tree any more, but would make a beautiful stack of wood ;)
    What kind of tree is it?
  14. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Given how close to the driveway, the roots got trashed. A rule of thumb is look at the crown and the root mass is at least that diameter. When the roots get trashed, the tree either dies in a few years or sometimes will develop enough new roots.I agree that the upper spot is some sort of hit. The lower spot is probably the beginings of rot. Nothing wrown with planting a new tree a bit farhter from the driveway and letting it get established before cutting the old one down. Given the straight length, all you need is a cable and a power pull and you can put that tree anywhere you want it.
  15. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful house:cool:, I would drop it, C/S/S that puppy, and call it a day. I agree with most here about planting a nicer tree with some nice landscaping around it........love the house
  16. jcims

    jcims Member

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    Hey Folks!

    Sorry to post and run, my weekend got away from me.

    I really do appreciate all of the input! It seems the general consensus is that it's not any immediate risk but that bringing it down isn't a bad idea. I agree it isn't the most aesthetically pleasing, I just figured I'd let it be and see how it does. The drive has been there for ~5 years now and until this little issue it seemed as though it was going to hang in there. I'll drop it this week and build up the cache for next year's supply. :)

    Regarding Waulie's question about the tree in the background, I don't honestly know what's going on with it. It looks more like a green fungus of some sort, it has been on there since the house was built. The tree itself appears to be a larger version of the same species we're talking about above, and if you look at the second to last pic, you can see the same spotting on the sick tree as well. This is what one of the leaves looks like (it's kind of zoomed in, about twice as big on my screen as it really is)

    [​IMG]
  17. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Red oak species.
    Cherrybark maybe.
  18. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Yep, something in the Red Oak group but not Northern Red, Black, Pin, Scarlet. Cherrybark Oak seems like a good guess, depending where you live.
  19. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    I also think the tree needs to go dosent look like it belongs there, use it to heat the house.

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