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Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: wurm
Date: March 28, 2021 01:23PM
We have two large trees that are potential problems. One (pic below) is at the end of the driveway. The other similar sized is right in front of where I park my car every day. I think they're still technically alive, but every time we get any kind of moderate to a strong wind, we end up clearing quite a few fallen branches from our driveway. My concern is that some big mother wind storm is going to produce more than a few branches. I'd rather not see my Prius smashed under a 18" diameter tree that decided to fall upon it.

Hence my question. I hate to destroy a fairly healthy tree just because the upper half has dying limbs. If we were to have them cut to just below where the limbs start, is that going to kill the tree? And I guess almost as importantly, is it going to just look stupid to see a half tree in the yard?

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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: Acer
Date: March 28, 2021 01:40PM
Big limbs dying off and dropping is not a good sign for a tree that is threatening the house or a driveway. The tree is declining. Heavy pruning like you describe will create big wounds that are entries for more disease and insects. Sad to say because I love trees and put off these decisions as long as possible, but I'd take the whole thing down and plant another.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2021 01:43PM by Acer.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: March 28, 2021 02:03PM
I would cut the whole tree. Are you going to cut it yourself? Even a small dead branch from above can kill or paralyze you.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 28, 2021 02:48PM
Have an arborist come out and take a look at it. We have a few fricken enormous trees in our yard (silver maple, locust and oak). They all drop large branches, and are beautiful healthy trees. We had to have a few companies come out, but it was clear one guy knew what was up. Most were laborers with very little knowledge of trees, big dudes with a chainsaw. This guy had a degree and supervised the cleaning up of one particular tree that was causing a lot of trouble, and it's worked out super well. It was also kind of spendy, but it was worth it to us. He actually gave it shots to clear up the bugs living in it, which was a boon to it's health, and a huge relief because what we had thought was sap that covered everything was actually bug excrement (grosser than it sounds, believe it or not). At any rate, he had a lower estimate for cutting it down, but when he came out he couldn't believe we would cut down such a beautiful tree. It cost less to fix it than to cut it down, so cool.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 28, 2021 02:49PM
Take it down.



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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: wurm
Date: March 28, 2021 03:14PM
Thank you all. My wife is leaning toward cutting the whole thing down. A year or so ago, we came out in the morning to see the scene below. It was an upper limb from the tree in front of my silver Prius, but ended up doing the damage to my wife's car. We had a service come out and remove a bunch more of those upper limbs that looked bad. I guess we should have had them take the whole thing down at the time. The tree in the earlier post is at the end of the driveway. I was hoping it was close enough to the wires that the electric company would come out and at least trim it, but unless limbs are actually hitting wires, apparently it's our responsibility. Ching ching.

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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: srf1957
Date: March 28, 2021 03:23PM
The stuff he gave a shot to four with was probably neonicotinoid . Really effective but kills bees . Only place it really has a use anymore is as na seed treatment for. corn .
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: March 28, 2021 03:24PM
Quote
kj
Have an arborist come out and take a look at it. We have a few fricken enormous trees in our yard (silver maple, locust and oak). They all drop large branches, and are beautiful healthy trees. We had to have a few companies come out, but it was clear one guy knew what was up. Most were laborers with very little knowledge of trees, big dudes with a chainsaw. This guy had a degree and supervised the cleaning up of one particular tree that was causing a lot of trouble, and it's worked out super well. It was also kind of spendy, but it was worth it to us. He actually gave it shots to clear up the bugs living in it, which was a boon to it's health, and a huge relief because what we had thought was sap that covered everything was actually bug excrement (grosser than it sounds, believe it or not). At any rate, he had a lower estimate for cutting it down, but when he came out he couldn't believe we would cut down such a beautiful tree. It cost less to fix it than to cut it down, so cool.

Silver Maples near a house is asking for trouble. They tend to be very brittle and strong winds drop large branches. The other issue is that their roots grow way past the tree's drip line and love to find sewer lines. My house had a Silver Maple in the backyard when I bought it. Planted about 20 ft from the house. Arborist took one look at it and asked what idiot planted the tree there.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 28, 2021 04:58PM
Just cut out the bottom half.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 28, 2021 06:35PM
Quote
srf1957
The stuff he gave a shot to four with was probably neonicotinoid . Really effective but kills bees . Only place it really has a use anymore is as na seed treatment for. corn .

I hope it's not bad for bees. The things I've read seem to focus on agriculture and spraying flowering plants. Since this involves drilling holes in a tree that doesn't (afaik) really flower in a way bees utilize, it can't be too high on the list of things that kill bees, but I don't know. I'll have to look it up.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 28, 2021 06:44PM
.....either way....don't do a half ***ed job......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 28, 2021 09:51PM
Drop it and plant a new tree.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: kj
Date: March 29, 2021 01:39AM
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
kj
Have an arborist come out and take a look at it. We have a few fricken enormous trees in our yard (silver maple, locust and oak). They all drop large branches, and are beautiful healthy trees. We had to have a few companies come out, but it was clear one guy knew what was up. Most were laborers with very little knowledge of trees, big dudes with a chainsaw. This guy had a degree and supervised the cleaning up of one particular tree that was causing a lot of trouble, and it's worked out super well. It was also kind of spendy, but it was worth it to us. He actually gave it shots to clear up the bugs living in it, which was a boon to it's health, and a huge relief because what we had thought was sap that covered everything was actually bug excrement (grosser than it sounds, believe it or not). At any rate, he had a lower estimate for cutting it down, but when he came out he couldn't believe we would cut down such a beautiful tree. It cost less to fix it than to cut it down, so cool.

Silver Maples near a house is asking for trouble. They tend to be very brittle and strong winds drop large branches. The other issue is that their roots grow way past the tree's drip line and love to find sewer lines. My house had a Silver Maple in the backyard when I bought it. Planted about 20 ft from the house. Arborist took one look at it and asked what idiot planted the tree there.

I've never been too keen on soft maple, but I'm imagining a huge proportion of trees planted in this area are some sort of soft maple. The one near our house (more over our driveway) is actually in our neighbor's yard. We were hoping to split cost of some work done on it, but it ain't going to happen. A huge locust was what we had done.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: Michael
Date: March 29, 2021 02:39PM
Quote
wurm
I was hoping it was close enough to the wires that the electric company would come out and at least trim it, but unless limbs are actually hitting wires, apparently it's our responsibility. Ching ching.

We had a tree hit by lightning 18 months ago. I called the power company and the guy came out and told me the same thing--it has to be touching the lines and ours was 30' away for a 50' tree. I told him I was going to cut it down myself and I'd do my best to miss the lines. That gave him pause. He finally asked if I was planning on cleaning it up myself. When I told him I was going to do that, he offered to have his guy put it on the ground if I'd clean it up. I had to sign a form but the guy came out in a bucket truck and took it down in a half hour. He also dragged it off the driveway with a cable. It took way too long to clean it up but we now have (unsplit!) firewood for the next 5 years. That might be worth a try if you'd be willing to clean it up.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: testcase
Date: March 29, 2021 07:17PM
Another vote for a trained arborist. I don't know if one would charge for a consultation / estimate but, I'd think you'd get better results.

Another thought; is there is a "County Extension" where you live? A degreed profession should have educated answers for you and, because they're paid by tax dollars, one might come out to actually see what you're dealing with for free. A County Extension office should also be able to recommend arborists who are known to do good work.

[www.gardeningknowhow.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2021 07:27PM by testcase.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: wurm
Date: March 29, 2021 10:09PM
Well, I have a company coming tomorrow afternoon to give me an estimate. They took down three other big problematic trees around this time last year.

I considered calling an arborist to come for a consultation, and I may still before we have any cutting done. This estimate will also give me something to compare when/if I find an arborist.
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Re: Any point in cutting down half a tree?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 30, 2021 07:19AM
....only God.....can make a tree.....



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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