I have an oak tree in my back yard that is about 100 feet or more
tall. Its circumference is 12 feet (measured three feet off of the
ground). I am curious of the age and the health of the tree (I have
seen them rot from the inside out.). I am thinking about boring a 1
inch hole about 12 inches into the tree, but I dont want to cause the
tree any harm if it is otherwise healthy. How can I determine the
overall health of the tree. I thought about calling someone out but I
have no idea who to call. I also think that who ever I call would have
a vested interest in having it cut down so they can make money off of
me. Any idea how to tell the age and health of the tree?
You can't be serious about boring a hole in what appears to be a
perfectly fine tree.
Do that, and soon there won't be any doubt that the tree is kaput.
If you want an
opinion, I'd call an arborist. A second choice would be a good tree
A qualified arborist can safely core the tree and determine the age and
assess the structure of the trunk. The coring operation is not the same
as simply drilling a hole in the trunk and must be carried out correctly
to avoid damage. Arborists are not the same as tree-fellers and every
one that I've known has had preserving trees whenever possible has their
Trees can actually survive for a very long time and be stable with a
hollow core since the core provides almost no strength. The size of the
trunk is not a very reliable predictor of the age of the tree. Some grow
fast, some grow slow. I've seen a white oak that measured over six feet
at the butt end and actually counted the rings on it showing it to be
something over 200 years old (we were drinking beer at the time but with
several of us counting that is pretty close). With a diameter
approaching 4 feet my guess is that yours could be anything from 100 to
200 years old depending on the species and the local growing conditions.
As for someone "having it cut down so they can make money off of me" you
don't have any obligation to listen to any single source. In fact with a
tree of that size I'd be inclined to get multiple estimates if it does
need to be dropped and I'd demand good proof if someone says that this
is the only course of action possible. It is unlikely that a qualified
arborist will be pushing to a takedown if it is not called for.
Huge old trees like that are almost always rotten in the center and
have little value as lumber. I know because I have remove many. If
you are hoping to profit from this tree then you will likely be
looking at firewood.
What difference would age make? It has reached its present age and
size without your "help" and will probably outlive you, if you can
refrain from drilling a huge hole in it to satisfy your momentary
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