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Very Mature Silver Maples

jpc1604

jpc1604

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
5
Age
43
Location
Central Illinois
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. I have 3 silver maples in my backyard. Using the method of multiplying circumference by growth multiplier for the species, I estimate them at about 135 years old. Obviously they provide lots of shade, and are just majestic to look at. As a new homeowner 13 years ago, I just thought that the constant picking up of these branches was common for all trees. But, the last 5-6 years, large chunks have fallen damaging my neighbor’s garage twice, a few chunks in my other neighbor’s yard has damaged his landscape. Last year an arborist trimmed and raised the canopy on all my trees and said they were all in good shape...just old. Since then, these trees have continued to drop large branches even without wind events. And a trimmer in our alley noticed the other day that one “arm” of one of the trees looked wet on one side indicating water was getting in somewhere. I really hate to remove them, as they provide so much shade. Also don’t even want to begin to think about the cost either. Should I call area arborists and get a few opinions? Just cross my fingers every time in storms? Would it cause too much damage to the trees to remove the multiple trunks that have formed from the main trunk? Thanks!! Jason
 
jpc1604

jpc1604

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
5
Age
43
Location
Central Illinois
Thanks for the reply! Yes, they are huge. We live in an old city neighborhood with the original brick streets Abraham Lincoln used to travel. So, the historic beauty is something I hate to lose with these trees. I’m attaching pics, but maybe direct me to more specific angles/closeups that are needed. -Jason
 

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jpc1604

jpc1604

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
5
Age
43
Location
Central Illinois
Circumference is 143 inches on biggest tree. The smallest has a circumference of 137. It’s hard to get a faraway shot since the homes are so close together. I’ll do my best...
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
5,802
Location
Western border of mid-southern northern WV
I'm getting 45" diameter. Pretty big. The problem with silver maples is that they get big and if close to a house, need to be trimmed back - but they don't tolerate severe pruning. Plus, when trimmed they often send out a lions tail - many small sucker branches that grow on a weak point. When those new branches get big, they can fall off. The tree looks fairly healthy but is only going to get bigger. You're going to have to decide at some point to cut them back. Are there any restrictions with tree trimming in your area?
 
jpc1604

jpc1604

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
5
Age
43
Location
Central Illinois
Thank you again! There are no restrictions to tree trimming. I understand that you can’t totally diagnose based on pics, but your assessment is the same as the arborist that trimmed them last May. He said they’re just healthy old big trees. My dilemma is this, I’ve lived here 15 years and have had the same neighbors on both sides...until last week. A new neighbor on one side moved in, and is concerned that wind might cause some damage to his new property. He has talked about splitting payment to have the two that threaten his property removed. So, do I pay to have them cut back and risk the stability of the remaining tree. Or remove them when I have the chance of not footing the entire bill of what could be 5-10k. I love the trees and their glory, the shade they provide, and do not want to remove them. Not to mention the 85 hosta and 50 ferns that are underneath that would not survive the new sunny landscape. If what I’ve been reading is correct, a potentially 130 year old silver maple tree(s) might be pushing it. We plan to raise our family in our historic home and just want to be proactive and not reactive. I’ve contacted a few ISA arborists for a risk assessment, but waiting to schedule.
 
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