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Poplars- rot or not?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Gary1970, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Gary1970

    Gary1970 New Member

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    Hi, first post from Oz!

    Outside an establishment blocks from my house there are these poplars which were supposedly planted around the same time (~40yrs) as much larger ones in my backyard (I presume the windbreak spacing has kept them in check sizewise).

    The guy cutting them down pointed out the discoloured heartwood and explained that they were rotten.
    Is that apparent from this photo?

    If that were true and I cut a lower branch off my larger ones and it had this same discolouration, is that an indicator of rot on my larger one?

    Thanks for any advice in advance,
    Gary
     

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  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Doesn't look like it. Don't know Australian trees, but heartwood is often darker than sapwood. Is the dark spot softer than the others?
     
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  3. Gary1970

    Gary1970 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply!

    Nope, just the colour.

    I wasn't sure with poplars (lombard- the tall euro windbreak ones?) but have seen Australian blackwood etc with a very contrasted heartwood so thought it may have been a softwood 'thing' that I was unaware of...

    The one we have is MUCH bigger, I'd hate it to fall down! was just ascertaining whether it was an age related thing or more to do with them being constrained in growth for that long.

    Cheers,
    Gary
     
  4. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Even if it were rot, isn't it the outer layer of trunk that nourishes the tree and gives it support?

    "Wood decay always ends up in the heart of living trees, not
    because wood-rotting fungi prefer heartwood, but because the tree grows and adds new wood
    while live sapwood compartmentalizes infected wood by active protective processes (Fig. 2i).
    Th e old concept of heartrot, the decay of dead heartwood by heartwood-rotting fungi, has been
    replaced by a more dynamic concept of discoloration and decay in living trees based on research
    conducted over the past 40 years. Th e concept of compartmentalization of decay in trees has
    been developed in which the living tree and the wood-rot pathogen play an active part."
    https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_nrs97.pdf

    However, just found some articles about false heartwood and wetwood in poplars.
    Not a good thing.

    https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/misc/pnwtr112.pdf
     
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  5. Jason Douglas

    Jason Douglas ArboristSite Guru

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    I would want to see better pics of the wood in cross section. From here it looks irregular with possible zone lines. Furthermore, does poplar form heartwood?
     

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