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Split Hackberry

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by wrx-snowdrift, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. wrx-snowdrift

    wrx-snowdrift ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a very tall Hackberry, it must be 90ft tall, 25-30" diameter. It is split at the first crotch and I'm wondering what to do. If the smaller branch does split and fall off it will land on for sure 1 if not 2 very young pear trees (2" DBH). If the main part falls it will likely not do any damage, the trees that it would hit are junk trees and I only live them standing as bird habitat. The tree is a beautiful tree, I think it's the tallest on the farm, and seems to be healthy and I'd hate to see it go but I'd rather see it go controlled rather than by a storm mangling it.
    I figure I have three options
    1. Take the whole tree down.
    2. Take down only the branch that will hit the pear tree.
    3. Use heavy ready rod, nuts and large washers to hold the split together. I've never seen this done before but I've heard of people doing it successfully.
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  2. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Either take the whole tree down or put a couple through rods below the crotch and 1 about 6" above like you mentioned. A 5/16" extra high strength steel cable should also be installed 2/3 up from the crotch. Don't take down half, it's just going to rot and break down the road.
     
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  3. wrx-snowdrift

    wrx-snowdrift ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks for the input.
    Good call on the cable further up from the crotch. Never thought of that.
     
  4. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The cable should be installed with 1/2” eye bolts through the leaders just to clarify.
     
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  5. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Should be easy to save with cable and bracing. Perhaps a little reduction pruning - often accompanies installation of support systems.
     
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  6. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    AND take pictures and document location measurements of the steel you put in the tree. When the time comes to cut it up (either you take it down or it falls on its own), you will know where the steel is and know where to NOT bury the bar.
     
  7. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Prioritize the cable first. Rod and bolts second. Cable can be installed without the bolts, no bolts without the cable. Cable should be installed approximately 2/3 of the way up from the crotch you are trying to protect to the top of the canopy.
     
  8. wrx-snowdrift

    wrx-snowdrift ArboristSite Operative

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    So the cable should be placed around here? Not sure if I can get that high.
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  9. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The higher the better. The 2/3s rule is a rule of thumb to approximate the location. Every tree is different. You need to attach it into wood that is large enough to carry the load. However if you factor in leverage, then the higher you can put it in, the less strain there will be on the cable.
     
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  10. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That’s about right. Can go a touch higher if you like. It’s most likely going to have to be installed by someone with climbing experience.
     
  11. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    While I agree with the priority being the cable I would feel more comfortable climbing that tree after it was braced. A ratchet strap supporting that crack at the least.
     
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  12. diezelsmoke

    diezelsmoke ArboristSite Operative

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    I would plan on getting that tree taken down and I don't normally recommend removal often! My experience with Hackberry has not been good and they are plentiful in my area. You can cable it now, but plan on getting it down within the next year or so. They are decent burning wood, but rots fast so keep it covered and on pallets.
     
  13. wrx-snowdrift

    wrx-snowdrift ArboristSite Operative

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    Our grove is about 65% Hackberry. We burn mostly Ash but have been mixing in some Hackberry, it's nice burning wood. I want to try to save it but it does seem like it might be a wasted effort. Like I said in my original post it might be better to take it down now while it is healthy and more predictable rather than it turning into a half rotten and dangerous tree.
     

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