Stressed out Elm tree

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JediMindTrick

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Hello Everyone -

I would like to thank you all for the advice you give and will hopefully give helping me out. I now live in a home that I bought in 2009. I have a large Elm tree in my backyard that has always had appeared healthy except for one of the three main limbs. This limb had been dead before we moved in so I am not sure what happened. Earlier this summer a wicked storm decided it was time for that section to come down. Half of it fell and the other half (15 feet or so) I cut on my own.

Now onto the problem. Even before the branch fell, part of the main trunk had lost its bark on the side of the dead portion (obvious). The rest of the tree, from an amateur eye, looks to be relatively healthy. It is a large tree as you will see in photos. It has good coverage, the leaves stay in tact until fall, the remaining bark is in tact (cannot remove by hand) and I have had no other problems with the tree other than a small branch lost in a recent storm which I consider normal collateral damage. No bug infestations or mushrooms have appeared etc. However, I am afraid that this tree is going to compromise my family's safety and others around our house eventually because I have no faith that a tree with a third of it trunks apparently dead or dying is going to last for 10-20 more years. I am no arborist/tree professional so what do I know? Maybe the tree is in no more danger of falling than it would be had the portion stayed alive. I hate ignoring the tree because my wife likes the shade it provides to our home at the expense of having it damage or hurt someone/thing. I just wanted to get your help to second guess my attempt at "common sense". Not only would I like to know what to do for safety reasons but out of curiosity I would like to know what the heck happened to it to make it do this.

Additionally, if removal is needed, I can provide this information. The tree cannot be fell. There is no area that is big enough to take the full length of it. There are sporadic power lines (no major lines) going from home to home within 200 feet or so. Both my home and a few neighbors are within striking distance if the tree was to fall. I can get pretty decent size equipment to it (just had drain field replaced in same area). My guess is the tree is anywhere from 65-80 feet tall (but thats just a eye test guess lol). I am not sure exactly how height is calculated. If the tree was to be chopped up in sections and lowered, I was to keep the lumber and the trunk did not need to be grinded out, what kind of ballpark should this type of job fall into? I have worked with many contractors before in hotel development but never with tree removal, so I just need to know where to start. If you were in Michigan how would you go about finding a decent contractor for this work?

I appreciate any help given, pictures are below.

Randy

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BlackOakTreeServ

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jedi welcome,
that third pic of the trunk dont look good at all, alot of dead, mabey 1/3 or 1/2 of it, hard to tell not being there.
Its still getting water from other half thats alive, but start calling local tree service's to get a bid to remove it.

Its not going to get any better, just to much dead in the trunk, possible alot of rot in there, hollow, ect.
 

Oldmaple

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Looks like Siberian Elm (often called Chinese Elm). Usually considered a junk tree around here. Fairly weak wooded but very stringy. Lots of dead twigs and such falling out every time the wind blows. Don't see a huge amount of rot in these trees usually due to the wetwood bacterium that is in most of them. Makes it hard for the decay organisms to grow. The double stem (narrow crotch) and included bark concerns me the most. Prone to splitting out in wind, ice and snow loads.
 

Raintree

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You have asked a lot of questions that need to be answered on site not over the net.

The tree is a hazard & should be removed, due to the stump decay & other suspicious looking trunk areas. It's not going to get better, just a matter of time before failure.

A wild guess what happened to it, someone built a camp fire too close & cooked the inner bark on the dead side 6-10 yrs ago.

An other wild guess on removal costs from a reputable full service tree company $3200.
 

Oldmaple

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Didn't notice on the first post about removal prices. Hard to tell from pictures since alot of a price is based on location, location, location. Depends on how much hassle getting the btush to the chipper. Looks like about a 30" diameter. Reasonable amount of roping, leave wood, take brush, cut as low to the ground as possible with saw, about $1200.
 
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