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<Jan Scow>
posted
I do frequent hazard evals and recently encountered a number of deodar cedars which were topped at 30 feet or so. Without doing an aerial inspection, which is not in the budget, can anyone tell me of experiences relevent to deodars being topped? These trees generally have grown large new tops and are healthy. Topping was done about 10 years ago. Common sense tells me they are a risk, but client wants to save them if possible. Anyone seen tops falling out under this condition? There is seldom traffic below trees. Appreciate any help!
 
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<Wayne Cahilly>
posted
Reply to post by Jan Scow, on March 12, 1998 at 21:18:03:

Jan,

Where are you located? In NY we have had problems losing large well-attached branches from old Cedrus of several species when we have had heavy snow. Cedrus do not appear to have really high wood quality and open grown specimens often have broken tops.

Exposure to wind loading could play a part in your figuring as well. If there are large compartmentalized areas at the attachment points and considerable sail above that, a windward exposure could increase the failure potential. Our experiance is that Cedrus in New York (northern end of growing range) are pretty poor compartmentalizers to begin with so there is likely to be a large defect.

Hope some of this helps.

Wayne
 
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<Jan Scow>
posted
Reply to post by Wayne Cahilly, on March 12, 1998 at 21:18:03:

I'm in so. California so we don't have a snow problem, but winds are definately an issue, as we have varying velocities and directions depending on season and weather conditions. Strong winds with high gusts are common and unpredictable. Cedrus trees being poor compartmentalizers is useful info which I suspected but had no first hand knowledge of. These trees just look like a good wind in the wrong direction could cause failure at the point of attachment (where topping was done). Thanks for the help. (I am still always amazed that people continue to top such gorgeous trees!)
 
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<Wayne Cahilly>
posted
Reply to post by Jan Scow, on March 13, 1998 at 12:38:02:

Jan,

Lucky you, no snow! I was gathering information the other day for an attorney and discovered something else that may interest you.

In "Evaluation of Hazard Trees in Urban Areas", Appendix 4 is a List of Inherent Failure Patterns for Selected Species, and one of the species is Cedrus deodara. The only comment following the species is "Branch loss in wind, snow, and ice".

It's always refreshing when you find something that backs up your gut feeling or observations!

Cheers

Wayne
 
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<Torrey Young>
posted
Reply to post by Jan Scow, on March 12, 1998 at 21:18:03:

Jan:

If you aren't already aware of it, there is a tree failure data collection program in CA called the CA Tree Failure Reporting Program (CTFRP). You can contact the program for a search of the database by species, type of failure, conditions, associations, etc.

Visit the CTFRP website at: http://treefail.ucdavis.edu/plscripts/treefail/tfrp.pp?xqt=index.pp&browselvl=3

I have worked with at least hundreds of deodars over the years... unfortunately, many of those had been topped or otherwise severely pruned! Many have developed new and substantial tops(s) which also developed enough structural compensation to thrive for many years.

However, more information than topping height and species is necessary to provide you meaningful, specific input. "Topped at thirty feet" would be catastrohic for a sixty-foot tree, but certainly survivable for a thirty-five-foot tree! Topping is always damaging, but the effect of this damage depends on the nature of pruning cuts, tree vigor and resulting callusing and buttressing of wounds, quality of subsequent pruning, etc.

Ultimately, each case must be individually evaluated by obtaining as much information as possible... including, if necessary, an aerial inspection!

Based upon my experience, I believe deodars to be naturally quite brittle, exacerbated by extremely heavy annual cones, resulting in frequent limb failures. Limb failures are also often exacerbated by "lion's-tailing" pruning, but also by topping!! Such limb failures seem much more prevelent to me than top failures!

Remember... this is only my opinion... do more research, make no assumptions and do those aerial inspections if you feel you need more information to reach a competent conclusion!

Hope these comments are helpful!

Torrey Young
 
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<Jan C Scow>
posted
Reply to post by Wayne Cahilly, on March 19, 1998 at 13:57:05:

I guess I need to learn to utilize my library a little better. I never noticed the list in the back of Matheny and Clark's book. Thanks. It's very windy in SoCal today, and if these trees are going to break, this would be a likely day I suspect. On the other hand, having made it this long without braeking...who knows!
 
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<Jan Scow>
posted
Reply to post by Torrey Young, on March 12, 1998 at 21:18:03:

Torrey:

Thanks for your input. Yes I am aware of the CTFRP and I submit reports on a frequent basis. I was not aware that one could search the database on-line however. What a great resource!

I realize that no one can solve my dilemma over the internet and that I must use skills of keen observation and experience. I have now performed aerial inspections (at no cost to the client) and now believe that most of the trees are relatively safe. I am very happy to get advice from someone with so much hands-on experience with deodars. Although I spent a decade pruning trees in central Calif, I never worked in a topped deodar! Amazing that now as a consultant I have seen several in a short time span.

Thanks for your input and for the tip on CTFRP's website! I will add your comments to my hazard file!

Jan Scow
 
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<Andrew Hayes>
posted
Reply to post by Wayne Cahilly, on March 19, 1998 at 13:57:05:

How can i get the list of inherent
failure patterns for selected species?

could you send it to me?

Thanks Andrew Hayes
 
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