Giant American Holly - Save or Remove?

Help Support ArboristSite:

TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,400
Location
Everywhere.
Greetings All.
I need some advice about a giant American Holly tree in my front yard - not sure whether to have it cut down, or to have it worked on and keep it.

Not sure how old this tree is, but my grandparents lived in this house before me and they may have planted it.
As you can see from the images, there are some serious issues with this tree. Several years ago during an ice storm, the top of one of the large upper branches, leaves heavy with ice, came crashing down. The top you see bent over had a similar experience the last ice storm, but didn't break off.

It is VERY close to the house, but it is on the south/east corner of the house and none of the limbs are hanging directly over the house. Most of the bad storms come from the south west and one bad enough to knock over the tree would, in theory, knock the tree away from the house.

This tree is a huge pita. it drops it's leaves in the spring (now) and the yard is carpeted with them... they stick to your shoes and the dogs can't walk in the front yard. It is also growing too close to the power lines going to the house.
However, it does create nice shade and the wildlife love it - there are three squirrels nests in it at the moment.

I'm also wondering if there might be some "historical" significance with this tree due to age and size?

Bottom line, should this tree come down, or be saved?
Thank you for your expert opinions!

sandy
 

Attachments

  • P1.jpg
    P1.jpg
    170.5 KB · Views: 88
  • P2.jpg
    P2.jpg
    212.7 KB · Views: 93
  • P3.jpg
    P3.jpg
    265.6 KB · Views: 88
  • P4.jpg
    P4.jpg
    158.2 KB · Views: 85
TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,400
Location
Everywhere.
New question about this tree...
Would cutting off the top third be helpful, or would it make the problem worse?
How would it grow back - straight up suckers from the branches and ground?
Anyone know of an arborist in middle tennessee?
I hate to do anything without a professional opinion first.
I know the electric company will cut it down, no charge, but not positive that is necessary just yet.
 
TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Looking for the Light in the Darkness
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
10,400
Location
Everywhere.
Well.... maybe now that I'm not a newbie on the forum someone will reply.
:ices_rofl:

Update on the holly. Haven't had any work done on it and last night - another wet snow event.
I see that a couple of small limbs have broken off and I'm hoping the snow/ice will melt off before the large limb breaks off.
There is also damage to my large cedar tree on the other side of the house.
ASAP, I'm going to get someone to do some major trimming on the cedar to remove the limbs on the house side.
I'm thinking the best solution for that holly would be to remove that one trunk of the cluster that is leaning towards the house.

What do you think?
Would doing that weaken the other trunks, or cause some other kind of disease to the tree?
Should I just have the entire tree removed?

DSC05670.JPGDSC05673.JPG
 
DutchWoodPecker

DutchWoodPecker

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
127
Location
Netherlands
I am by no means an experienced tree man, but have had a solid dose of physics.
If you remove only the trunks that head toward your home, the whole tree becomes unbalanced.
If it falls down because of that unbalance, away from you house, it will rip out a chunk of earth of between the base of the tree and the wall.
If you are lucky it will leave your house undamaged.

So it depends a bit:
Do the roots go wide and shallow, the chunk of earth heaved up in a crash will by large and the risk of damage to you house will be large, and I would cut down the whole tree.
Do the roots go deep and narrow, then I would suspect you are fine with just removing the trunk that threatens to destroy your roof.

Please consider my lack of experience while evaluating my advice.
 
KarlD

KarlD

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
948
Location
UK
I always say to my customers in similar situations…decide where you stand. Are you focussed on the best thing for the tree and associated wildlife or is your primary concern your property and your peace of mind. Decide which trumps the other and the answer becomes obvious.
As a tree surgeon, if that were my tree next to my house I would have it down, stump removed and replant with new trees and shrubs that will continue to support local wildlife without compromising your well-being.
Just my 2p
 
Brufab
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
2,032
Location
Michigan
Well.... maybe now that I'm not a newbie on the forum someone will reply.
:ices_rofl:

Update on the holly. Haven't had any work done on it and last night - another wet snow event.
I see that a couple of small limbs have broken off and I'm hoping the snow/ice will melt off before the large limb breaks off.
There is also damage to my large cedar tree on the other side of the house.
ASAP, I'm going to get someone to do some major trimming on the cedar to remove the limbs on the house side.
I'm thinking the best solution for that holly would be to remove that one trunk of the cluster that is leaning towards the house.

What do you think?
Would doing that weaken the other trunks, or cause some other kind of disease to the tree?
Should I just have the entire tree removed?

View attachment 953396View attachment 953397View attachment 953398View attachment 953399View attachment 953400View attachment 953401
Holy crap TNT that looks scary as heck! If Ice storms are becoming more common in your area i would get it cut down as much as that sucks it's better than dealing with lots of ph calls and emails with insurance companies and everything and house damage and possibly having to move out for repairs.
 
Brufab
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
2,032
Location
Michigan
I seen alot of pros and cons on the internet. If you could get 1 nice chunk alil over 8' that you could either mill or buck split and burn atleast you could get something out of it being cut down. I mean a bird house and a campfire wouldn't be to much to ask and the tree will provide another memory to live on.
 
dboyd351

dboyd351

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
1,156
Location
Cape Charles, VA
Sounds reasonable to me. Straight removal of one very large pine tree (20-24" dbh, 80' tall), using a bucket truck and lowering each piece to the ground runs about $1000 here. So given you are talking about work on 3 trees and potential customization of the job as it goes along, it sounds like a good estimate.
 
davidprivett

davidprivett

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
7
multi butts on trees are bad, it is just a matter of time before they split, I live outside of cleveland tn. and I got a bandmill if you want to saw it. I can cut lenghts to 14 ft. and 24 in dia. if straight.
 
Top