Well, that's rude. And here I was, Ed, thinking that you were a good source
for intelligent information based on your previous postings. I suppose
that does make me "dense" but not for asking questions, just for believing
you might have something to say that I would want to read. Glad you cleared
that up for me.
After thinking about this, I was going to apologize for not realizing you
were joking in the original post. I see you really were serious.
In the past few months, the new has had stories of a person walking that was
killed by a falling branch, people killed in a car when a tree toppled on
them, houses damaged by trees falling, and a few other assorted tragedies.
You already stated the tree has leaned toward your house, that you see a
crack in the moss, that you see another rotted spot, yet you still don't
understand why the town wants to remove the tree. Sure it will be a loss of
shade, of beauty, etc. but it will be a bigger loss if it comes down on your
house, car, or family. Sorry to have offended you, b ut you really are not
seeing the reality of the situation.
I know trees are dangerous. My secretary's mother was killed by a falling
oak tree that smashed her car while she was waiting at a stop light.
Perhaps I should have stated that the tree has ALWAYS leaned toward the
house and this was not a new symptom but was a reason to consider removing
it now that other symptoms had appeared.
The moss was always slightly separated around the roots. Not being an
arborist, I didn't know if this was normally "play" or an indicator of
serious root rot. I know that big buildings sway, I assumed big trees did,
Correction, I just wanted to make sure that the tree really was a hazard and
that there wasn't some other treatment might that could save it. I see now
that it was the right call. I probably would not feel that way if the sawn
sections had come down clean, without the ugly black stains.
Obviously I am not alone in my obliviousness because a lot of people get
killed or suffer damage from trees they didn't spot in time. I suppose I
owe my buddy a dinner for pointing out that the moss crack seemed to have
enlarged. In reality, that was the only thing that really stood out as
different. The other items I noted were long standing ones I mentioned just
to be complete.
Thanks for apologizing. I am not an aborist, nor much of a gardener so I
really didn't know which of the conditions I noted were fatal. As I noted,
some of the conditions had been like that for over 20 years (the moss, the
breaking off, the leaning towards the house and naturally healing limbs and
a line where the root ball has pulled up slightly).
Until the tree was felled, I could not see how deep the rotten part was - at
least a gallon of black, moldy ooze dripped out of the hole when that part
was cut down and laying on its side. Coupled with the nearly full "leafing
out" of the tree, it didn't *look* very different than usual.
The only thing that alarmed me was a visitor, during a strong windstorm
saying "I don't think you should be seeing the roots flexing the dirt as
much as they do in the wind." When the big branch fell during the storm, it
was like many other big branches that had fallen before it (there are at
least 20 such knotholes on the trunk - they're easy to count now that only
the trunk remains standing).
The difference this time was that it was a "wye" branch that broke and it
left a cup like, upward facing wound that collected water. In that sense it
was very unlike all the other breaks which were much cleaner and usually at
90 degrees to the trunk. I think that standing water caused the rot to
spread throughout the top of the tree, dooming it. Not sure if that could
have been prevented by plugging the wound with some magic tree compound. I
seem to remember in my distant youth people tarring places where limbs had
After reporting the dropped bough to the city (for special trash pickup) and
noting my concerns about the cracking in the moss around the base, the
arborist came by, inspected the tree, marked it for death, and it's dead.
So I repeat, I am not an arborist, so I really did not think the conditions
I observed were as seriously as you thought they were, especially since
several of them were not particularly new events. If that makes me "dense"
then so be it. I just wanted to make sure the poor dumb tree got a fair
trial before it got the death sentence.
Woodsman spare that tree,
touch not a single bough,
in youth it sheltered me,
and I'll protect it now.
I didn't watch Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons for nothing, you know. (-:
I am just happy it came down without incident. If it had smacked into the
house in a windstorm, it would have made an unholy mess and knocked out all
my utilities, too. All's well that ends well, except for the poor dead
tree. Of course, the wood's still out there waiting for another crew to
pick it up and to remove the still standing trunk that's about 20' high. I
suppose they know if they leave logs around that someone might relieve them
of the need to dispose of them.
"HD" Bobby G.
Any power lines above? If so, may not be the city, may be the power
company. A couple of years ago, they murdered dozens of lovely trees
around this part of town because they were in their easement, and
getting big. (Including some that pre-dated the power lines being there,
and where the cable could have easily and cheaply been re-routed to a
different pole, out of harm's way.)
If you can spare the cash, a second opinion from an arborist may be
worthwhile. You probably won't win any challenge to the powers that be,
but you will know if you were right or not.
That's part of my concern, that they are chopping down something for reasons
other than "inherent vice."
Fortunately, my neighbor already wasted her money on just such a challenge
when she discovered what you already know: TPTB always win. And arborists
Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated.
I will redouble my efforts to contact the aborist or anyone else that might
give me relevant information. It's a big, old but beautiful tree and I
would hate to lose it. But I think I would hate it more if it cut my house
in two or smashed my car up. It's at least 2 feet in diameter at the base
and could do some serious damage if it fell.
Do they always just remove sick trees or do they sometimes try to prune back
the bad parts?
I don't know about red maples, but the ordinary street trees that look
like maples have a maximum life span of 60-70 years. Given all the signs
of disease, you probably have a tree ready to give the ghost. I remember
vaguely, because it was talked about so much later on, that all the fruit
trees in a part of Holland (Zeeland) inundated by seawater in February
1953 bloomed exquisitely that spring then died from the saline poisoning.
Your tree may very well have leafed out (and you didn't say, bloomed
tremendously) because it is dying.
That's a good call. Well, it's not dying anymore, it's hunked up in
sections lying on my front lawn, stone dead. )-: I had no idea that street
trees had a limited lifespan, but it makes sense. They have all sorts of
things to contend with that a tree in the country doesn't have to face. I
am trying to recall whether it bloomed this year. I seem to remember a lot
less pollen than usual, but that's a really subjective analysis. I'm afraid
I just didn't notice whether it bloomed or not.
The saline story is interesting. I guess a tree's slow "metabolism" means
that poisons take a long time to work their way fully into the tree. Up
until now the only tree care rule I knew was that you don't change the level
of dirt around the trunk of a tree if you want it to keep on living.
Thanks for your input!
plants sort of know when they're checking out, and like men at closing time
in a bar, will chose to go out with a bang (so to speak).
i have some 40'+ saguaro's that were felled on my property in a windstorm
last winter. this month is flowering season for them, and the ones that are
flat on the ground are chock full of flowers, even though they've a: been
down for 6 months, b: have no roots in the ground, c: haven't been watered
since they've been down and 4: are partially rotted and/or insect/packrat
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.