Have a situation with a Pine tree. I will post pictures next week but heres the low down.
It's a 24 Dbh Loblolly Pine, 65 ft tall,with a 20-25degree lean. Crown of the tree has major asymerty. Base has bottle butt (compensating for the decay), longitutal cracks starting at the base up to about 6 feet. Cracks are 2-3 inches in width and there are 2-3 of them on the tension side of the lean, compression side of the lean is your normal bark buckleing nothing to horrific. The tension side are showing no signs of soil heaving,soil cracking or roots cracking. I found no evidence of soil buckeling on the compression side of the tree. As I look at the tree on the tension side so it is leaning away from me there is also a crack/ trunk blowout at about 10 o'clock on the trunk. So the tree had a torsion load (clockwise twisting of the trunk)and the tree cracked there approx. 2ft long sliver pop out. There are a couple of horizontal cracks that is showing only bark seperation
Decay (Brown Rot): measured 15" in on the tension side through the longitutal crack drilled the oppisite side reading showed 4" sound wood. Right and left drilling also showed both 4" sound wood on either side. My open cavity calulation came up 51% decayed.
So the client knows this is a hazardous tree but wants to do everything possible to avoid(mitigate) possible failure.
What I did was installed three cable to 3 trees behind it. There is a tree next to it about 15 feet away. Cable? I did not think it needed it there.I thought it would do no good because of how the tree would fail.
Also 3 truck load binding straps on the trunk and root crown.
And It was suggested to me to put two throught rods in solid wood above the cracks.
Give me some ideas
The target area is moderate and in frequent use. Can not restrict potential targets. I recommendations were just to get the tree by for a couple months and then it could be removed. So the straps were temporary. The cables were also temporary until removal.
They had a second consult, he/she said the tree could stand for 5-10 years??? Recommendations were the straps should be taken off and 12 7/8" rods should be installed into the tree throughout the root crown to approximately 12 feet along all the cracks. And permantly install 4 cables to all the trees 3 behind and one to the left (as looking at it on the tension side)
I think she/he is crazy to recommend that we should install 12 through rods into a tree that is showing clear signs of torsion cracking, brown rot and 4" of sound wood. The tree needs to be removed and the straps need to stay on either by making permanent metal straps or leave the trucking straps on and replace as nessacerry. We both agree that cables should be installed in the 3 back trees I dont think the cable place at the tree to the left at 90 degrees is going to do much good. But right now I guess he/she wants overkill.
Well, it sounds like a fairly straight-forward situation. With the lean, crown weight, decay and cracking, that tree could go anytime. Sure, it could stand another 5 or 10 years. Or it could go down tonight (if it hasn’t already). If the targets include people, it seems there is little choice other than removal. Bassed on your comments, the tree is well over the published tresholds for acceptable decay.
Cables- maybe, but I wouldn’t rely too heavily on them. It would take an engineer to determine if they will reduce the risk enough. Through bolts- that may help reduce the risk of further widening of the cracks and may reduce torsion splitting, but it seems an expensive treatment for a tree whose days are numbered.
Stick to your guns on this, and insist on removal. If they want to save the tree at all costs, it may just cost that much when it fails.
Post the outcome here, please.
Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
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