Top broken out of walnut tree

The entire top of a black walnut tree at the back of the church property broke off about 20' up; looks like a windstorm got it (but I don't remember any strong winds recently.) I can either cut the top off clean where it broke and let the tree try to grow back, or I can cut the tree down. To safely fell the tree, I probably need to trim the broken part off first anyway.
I assume the tree will send up a plethora of watersprouts if I leave just a trunk there. Will a it grow back into a respectable tree from that if I thin the watersprouts to the 3 or 4 biggest ones? Would they also need spreaders or ropes to grow them more laterally instead of straight up?
Or is the tree doomed and I should just cut it now and plant something else?
-Bob
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wrote:

Could have been struck by lightening... sounds like that tree needs a physical exam by an arborist before proceding
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

Since posting this, I've come to the same conclusion. The county has an arborist, but his default answer to any question is "cut it down", so I don't know how useful he is. Maybe I need to call the state dept of agriculture.
Other folks are telling me to sell it for making gunstocks etc. and use the proceeds to buy a new tree. I'll check into that, but I don't think this tree's wood is very valuable. It's black walnut, but looks like it's mostly white sapwood. I guess they can still stain it, or maybe they steam it or something and the black heartwood darkens the sapwood...
Thanks, Bob
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wrote:

Someone who tells everyone to cut it down is not an arborist. If the part still standing has healthy leaves then the tree is worth saving... it probably needs a little surgery and dentistry, may need some cavity rot removed and then filled. I'd say planting a new black walnut is a last resort, most folks alive today will be dead before a sapling black walnut becomes a tree.
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

I won't know for sure until I trim the broken part(s), but I don't think it will have any leaves. It broke right above the first branch and then fell on that one remaining branch. Don't know how much damage it did to the branch. The trunk looks healthy; I didn't see any rot looking at it from the ground. And there are a few watersprouts but none in the right places yet.
I want to find a *real* arborist to see if it has a chance. I think I know how to trim it and train the new growth but I don't want to waste 4 or 5 years just postponing the inevitable if that time would be better spent letting a new oak or maple or hickory (or hackberry, or cherry, or...) tree grow to take its place.
Walnut trees are not much loved around here. OTOH, I could plant a cottonwood tree :-)
-Bob
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wrote:

Cottonwood trees near any structure/building are big trouble, their roots are very invasive and casue great damage to walks/roads and they are a rather large tree that grows fast, unfortunately its wood is weak and massive limbs can and do suddenly fall. I'd not plant cottonwood as a specimen tree near buildings or in small spaces, they are best way out in the open, they have interesting looking bark that becomes so hard it'll make a chainsaw spark.
Without knowing where and in what type of location it's difficult to recommend a tree, but I'd not plant a nut tree of any type as a street tree or anywhere near buildings, they are very messy trees. Perhaps consider a linden tree. I planted a Little Leaf Linden 'June Bride' at the road on my property line, the first in a row of several other trees acting as a kind of 'fence/boundary marker', it's doing very well.
http://i55.tinypic.com/314pgr7.jpg
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

Nice looking tree you got there.
"Cottonwood" was a joke, because of all the fuzz. The whole town would hate me. It would make a fine looking specimen though, and it's out in an open area kind-of close to a little stream.
Maybe I should look into a /male/ cottonwood tree. Or a London Planetree (related to sycamore.) We have room for something big like that.
-Bob
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wrote:

London planetrees are lovely shade trees, and grow huge. I planted two seedlings in my back yard ten years ago, they are about 15 feet tall now and finally looking like trees. They wre tiny bareroot seedlings no thicker than a pencil and about 30 inches tall. There they are in this picture from last year:
http://i52.tinypic.com/14kf795.jpg
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Brooklyn1 <Gravesend1> wrote in

Depending on where you are, a London Plane might not be the best idea. In NYC, for example, they are seriously frowned upon for a couple of reasons- size is one, relatively early senescence another, and finally they are highly susceptible to Asian Longhorn Beetle infestation.
Chris But they are beautiful...
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2011 09:36:22 -0500, Chris Thompson

Obviously the planting of every tree should be well thought out, use ones common sense. London planetrees are much more disease and insect resistant than sycamore, but virtually all plants are suseptible to diseases and insect infestations... modern science now gives one the tools to cope with much more success... if gardeners chose only plants with 100% guarantees of success they'd plant nothing. There are many areas in NYC where streets were once lined with sycamores that thrived for a hundred years and more but were eventually removed because as they attained great size they caused great damage to walks and roads. There are still many sycamores in NYC. http://forestry.about.com/od/hardwoods/a/sycamore_bio.htm http://forestry.about.com/od/hardwoods/ss/sycamore.htm
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Brooklyn1 <Gravesend1> wrote:

If lightning hit it, it would not have a clean cut. I would show what the tree looks like across the street, but not now. It literally exploded in the middle. Shredded down the center from the steam. Sections blown out.
Greg
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I found a pine down on my property. Pretty clean cut. I looked over about 25 feet to see where it came from.
Here is severe lightning damage. The storm woke everyone up around town. A loud evil sounding crack, then a Santa in my closet saying ho ho ho, merry Christmas. I had to get up after that.
http://zekfrivolous.com/home/tree.JPG
Greg
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gregz wrote:

Lightening never strikes the same twice.

Spruce tend to split easily. Different woods behave differently from lightening strikes... and of course each lightening strike is different. Age, tree size, and tree health also affect the damage from a lightening strike.... there are infinite variables... it's silly to say what kind of damage should ensue from lightening, better chance of guessing about earthquakes.
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