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Does this tree need to be removed?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by TheTone, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. TheTone

    TheTone ArboristSite Operative

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    Hi, this is my first post in this section of the forum ( I post in Chainsaw). I am NOT an arborist. This is an oak in the front yard of my (deceased) parent's house in Memphis, TN. I climbed it about 45 years ago when I was learning ropes. The house has been rented out for about 3 years. We are restoring it and I was rather alarmed when I examined it recently. In the pictures you will see that it leans. It has always leaned slightly; I don't know if it has been leaning this much. What worried me is the gap between the roots at the side away from the lean and the ground. The gap allows you to see that the base of the tree is hollow. There is scar tissue (not sure if this is the correct term) at the site of a previous split in the bark, visible in the photo of the roots away from the lean. The canopy is healthy and has good sunlight. A couple of major lower branches have been removed in previous years. The reason for the gap at the ground is not entirely clear. The yard was not well maintained and the soil may have eroded. Also, the tree may have increased it's lean, causing the gap (or both). If the tree were to fall in the direction of the lean, it would most likely not cause damage to structures. Also it would probably hang up in the canopy of a nearby oak.

    Photos:
    Roots away from lean. The bulbous roots are covered on the underside by scar tissue and bark, indicating that they have been this way for a while.
    1543294684355_IMG_20181118_140327_335.jpg 1543294974136_IMG_20181118_140638_483.jpg

    View through gap, showing hollow base.
    1543295155410_IMG_20181118_140351_013.jpg
    Roots from east, south, west (showing lean):
    1543300691145_IMG_20181118_140845_637.jpg 1543300745780_IMG_20181118_140943_003.jpg 1543300949573_IMG_20181118_141058_687.jpg
    Canopy:
    1543301727540_IMG_20181118_144158_587.jpg
     
  2. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    Don’t think so.
     
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  3. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Looks like the lean is away from the home. Anyhow, you can't get a good assessment of a tree via pictures on the web. Go on ASCA's website and find someone in your area that can do a tree risk assessment.
     
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  4. TheTone

    TheTone ArboristSite Operative

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    The closest ASCA arborist is in Nashville and I have sent him an email. Any ideas on how to prolong the life of this tree? Except for what you've seen, it seems healthy and shows signs of healing its old wounds. I would really like to keep it around as long as possible.
     
  5. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    I concur.

    Don't call a tree removal service for their opinion. You can guess what the answer will be and bet $$ on it.
     
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  6. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Improve the root zone around the tree with a mulch ring of no more than 2-4 inches of hardwood chips and possibly some soil amendments will go a long way in preserving the life of the tree.
     
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  7. TheTone

    TheTone ArboristSite Operative

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    Yes, that's the reason I went to Arboristsite.com first.

    Will do. Thanks!
     
  8. The Singing Arborist

    The Singing Arborist ArboristSite Member

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    You could also have it trimmed by an arborist to help take some weight off the leaning side.
     
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  9. diezelsmoke

    diezelsmoke ArboristSite Operative

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    Trim it up and get another tree planted nearby to replace this one when removed.
     
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