Sycamore Trunk Split

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eggers71

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I have a Sycamore tree in my front yard in southeastern Michigan that is approximately 180 years old.

The trunk has a few vertical splits in it, and a few tree service companies have been canvassing my neighborhood and each pointed out the splits and asked me if I wanted to take the tree down.

There is one large split on one side that runs maybe 4 feet vertical and is maybe 2 inches across at the widest point. The wood exposed by the split appears to be dead (there are a few bug holes, and when I tap on it it sounds like how an old piece of firewood would after sitting around for a few years). There are a few smaller splits on the opposite side as well, but the wood under them is barely exposed.

Other than the split, it a healthy and very beautiful tree. The branches all look living and it produces a health set of leaves. Should I leave it alone or is this split a concern? No branches are directly above my house, but if somehow the entire tree came down in the direction of my house then the topmost branches would probably do some damage.

I would strongly prefer to leave the tree up unless there is a compelling reason to take it down. Any advice?
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arathol

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There is a big difference between some random tree company scaring you into paying them thousands of dollars to remove a tree and a spending a few bucks paying a proper licensed arborist to come and evaluate the tree........
Get the tree looked at by somebody who isn't out looking to cut trees down for any other reason than to take your money and let that person tell you the proper course of action.
 

ATH

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The wood inside of ANY tree is dead. If somebody points out dead wood inside of a crack as a sales technique, RUN from them. They either don't know better or are being deceptive. in general (but not always) door knockers probably aren't really who you want to work with - most legit companies have plenty of work. Certainly "we are working at the neighbor's and noticed..." is different than canvassing the neighborhood looking for work.

Having said all of that, those look like pretty superficial cracks.

I agree with @arathol though, hire somebody who is qualified to evaluate the tree. Ideally a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified Arborist. Doa zip code search here: https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist
 

Woody912

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The wood inside of ANY tree is dead. If somebody points out dead wood inside of a crack as a sales technique, RUN from them. They either don't know better or are being deceptive. in general (but not always) door knockers probably aren't really who you want to work with - most legit companies have plenty of work. Certainly "we are working at the neighbor's and noticed..." is different than canvassing the neighborhood looking for work.

Having said all of that, those look like pretty superficial cracks.

I agree with @arathol though, hire somebody who is qualified to evaluate the tree. Ideally a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified Arborist. Doa zip code search here: https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist
I'll bet a nickle that tree is hollow or rotten on the inside. Most sycamores are anyway. I'd probably run a long drill bit or a vertical chain saw bar into it and find out.
 

esean

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Just curious - how do you know its age? It doesn't look like its endangering anything and the crown looks healthy. Unless its seriously structurally compromised, I'd leave it alone. You can't buy a new tree like that at your big box store!
 
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