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Large Silver Maple with Split - Recommendations

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by fischman, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. fischman

    fischman New Member

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    Hello,

    First, I wanted to say I've had 3 different arborist companies come out and look at the tree and have had as many answers. One said it is easily savable with cabling and bracing. One said it must come down, and the third said that it would be fine with trimming some of the heavier limbs and possibly a cobra cable. My neighbor has trimmed some of the branches that hung over his property previously and you can see that in the pictures as well.

    Let me know what you think. Is the tree salvageable? I'd hate to lose such a large shade tree on the South West side of the house. It blocks a lot of the afternoon sun. Unfortunately, the house is our rental in another state, so I'm limited in my ability to look at it myself, but i'm including the pictures that one of the arborists took for me.

    1539879225414.temp.jpg 1539879358191.temp.jpg imagejpeg_0.jpg imagejpeg_0_01.jpg
     
  2. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I cant comment on the cobra cable as we never use it.

    I see nothing overly alarming in the pics the tree is very saveable. in the pic at the red line I'd stick a 3/4" rod through it. then I'd stick a steel cable In the top. This would follow a good trimming with some moderate weight reduction. The rod is not necessarily a must but if you are set on making sure the tree is as stable as possible I'd do it, shouldn't add too much cost.

    The guy who says remove clearly has no desire to save the tree and only does removals.

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  3. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

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    +1, good reply.

    Cable first, never have use any of those fancy high priced proprietary 'cable' systems. I'd use 5/8" HDG eye thru bolts (or even 6" lags). Snug up the cable with thru bolts or take up tension with come alnong before one end of wire clips tightened on one end. Or HDG Chain with thru eye bolts and shackles.
    Use those 3" square HDG foundation plate sesmic washers, not just a normal washer if you add the bolt.
     
  4. fischman

    fischman New Member

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    Thanks everyone! That's how I was feeling, but I'm no expert... I really think the one guy really wants to cut it down and that's why he was so adamant.
     
  5. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I agree with the previous posts but there is one thing to consider for the future - it is a silver maple growing too close to the house. It will get huge and with the cuts I see, will be prone to rot in the future - when it gets huge. You may then be faced with a much more expensive removal. If you can keep the top cut back, that will help but also hurts the appearance.
     
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  6. fischman

    fischman New Member

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    Buzz sawyer: Thanks for the info. That's good to know. Is there anything I can do to help avoid rot? It's already a pretty large tree and the quote to remove was significantly larger than I'd have thought ($2000+). I've been told I could likely find someone to do it for less, but wasn't really looking at that as the primary option. But definitely some food for thought.
     
  7. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The two smaller cuts appear to be compartmentalizing well but the two larger ones on the right will likely be the source of rot. The lower cut also looks to have done incorrectly - the lower side tore down, damaging the branch collar. It may eventually grow over, but rot will probably start before it does. Maples do not respond well to pruning large branches like that since the wood often rots before it grows over. Same with maple firewood. It doesn't last long sitting outside in the weather. Did the $2000 include grinding the stump? No doubt the cost is also due to the risk - being close to the house.
     
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  8. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Cable and brace with some end weight reduction and she’s good to go.
    The guy that told you it needs to come down is a tree cutter not an Arborist.
     
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  9. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't see any shade on that side of the house.
    Do you have good insurance coverage on that rental house? If that tree comes down in a storm, it will demolish that little house.
    Where I live, the electric company will take down a tree, no charge, if it interferes with the power lines.
     
  10. arathol

    arathol ArboristSite Operative

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    Cutting down now will be the far less costly option in the long run. Its going to rot, and faster than you think. You won't see it until its too late unfortunately though. Those cuts probably have started to rot internally already. The crotch at the base of those co-dominant stems is going to rot as its open to moisture and will hold water. You can cable it all you want, its just an expensive prolongation of the inevitable. I had a large silver maple in my front yard that the previous HO had cabled seven ways from Sunday and it did not make a difference in the end.
     
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  11. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Then again,if it came down on it's own it could take out your neighbors house... or, if it split, both.:rolleyes:

    What's that post in your front yard... is that the property marker?
    Also looks like someone is putting up a nice new wood fence on the property line. I'd get rid of the tree first.
    imagejpeg_0.jpg
     
  12. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    How old are you? Height? weight? smoker? Healthy eater? Plan on giving the house to your children?

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  13. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :p Are you being sarcastic?

    The point I'm trying to make is, that tree trunk is about 6' from his house, right on the property line, and maybe 25' from his neighbors house. Someone is putting up a nice expensive fence, right under a tree that has already been whittled on, is top heavy with long limbs, shows signs of rot, and is splitting at the crotch.
    It just seems to me the only logical thing to do, under these circumstances, its to take it down before it causes major damage, and replace it with a nice healthy little shade tree with a central leader.
    But that's just my opinion, as a home owner.
     
  14. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Or....
    Would removing the two outer limbs relieve the stress at the crotch and help keep it from splitting?
    imagejpeg_0 (1)2.jpg
     
  15. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Absolutly dead serious that tree is far from the worst I've seen.
    Matter of fact today one of the neighbors of our job had just about the biggest silver maple I've ever seen was pushing 60" dbh with a huge hollow in a huge main lead. The first crotch was massive, it split into a 3 massive leads this one was about 48" had probably 6 inches of wood around 3/4 of the lead rest was a hole. Above this point was an ungodly amount of weight I didnt look at it in super detail but it would be safe to say 30 to 40k pounds if not more, no joke, and this was barely half the canopy. It's still standing strong, and makes the tree in question look tiny and in amazing shape

    The last thing you want to do to this tree is cut two huge limbs off it. Weight reduction is in order


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  16. arathol

    arathol ArboristSite Operative

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    Yes, and trees like this look just fine......until they aren't. Weight reduction will happen naturally.:surprised3: One day it will just start shedding limbs that look great from the outside but are rotted right up through the core.
    I had two of these in my front yard, the smallest being about 54". They looked good from the ground. Then branches started falling off for no reason other than they were so rotted from the inside that they could no longer support their own weight. Soon after, a winter storm came through and destroyed both trees. The upper parts of the trees were full of rot, no visible signs from the outside. I've seen a lot of silver maples like this that came down due to internal rot, most looked "just fine" the day before they fell. My brother has a huge one in his back yard, all of 80' and 5 feet in diameter. Every time the wind blows hard bits and pieces fall off, and all of what comes down has at least some signs of decay at the core. I've been there twice so far in the past year cleaning up the large limbs that have fallen off in windstorms because they have been weakened by internal rot. I've been up in the tree, every crotch shows signs of rot. Not allowed to remove it though because the wife says so despite the clear evidence of whats to come. :crazy:
    Bottom line, around here these swamp maples are considered garbage trees. They should be removed as soon as possible once they start showing signs of decay, ie shedding branches from the canopy that have decay in the center or any other signs of rot. They are brittle enough when healthy, when they are weakened even more by decay they are dangerous.
     
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  17. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    How close to the house, or other buildings is this tree?

    By "weight reduction" do you mean trimming off 1/3 of the top?
    I'm not a tree expert, but from what I've seen around here when that's done to a large tree, either they die in a few years, or they get really top heavy with new growth and look like lollipop trees.

    PS... Both of those trees look like culls, neither has a central leader, and never should have been put there in the first place. ... but, that's just my opinion.;)
     
  18. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Just to be clear, the only reservation I have with this tree is the proximity to the house. If it were 30+ feet away, go ahead and cable away.
     
  19. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Often when I am on properties I will tell the client “if you have a tree within striking distance to your house you have some level of risk; if you remove every tree within striking distance of your house (in my opinion) you have a crummy property. You have to weigh the option of having a treeless crummy property with your level of risk.

    Decay, or rot, does not grow in a aerobic environment. If an area is under water, decay does not happen.

    This is a Silver Maple, not a Swamp Red Maple. Granted, Silver Maples have the highest risk of failure with damage in New England, but in the end, the client should make the call given the risk or lack there of by the Arborist. They can determine the course of action.

    As far as cost is concerned, with the location of that tree it’s canopy shade probably affords the home owner 15-20 percent in energy savings due to its cooling effect in Summer due to transporation over the home.
     
  20. Jason Douglas

    Jason Douglas ArboristSite Guru

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    That would create two more large wounds likely to decay on the main stems. That's a no no.
     
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