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IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

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IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

Old 07-26-2006, 08:17 AM
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CJS
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Default IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

I've got a massive Norweigan Maple in my backyard.
Circumference at the base is about 14 feet and it's
probably close to 100 feet tall.
Many years age someone cut off a rather large branch
at what is now the 5 foot high level. The resulting "scar"
has begun to rot. So far, I've removed enough rotten/soft/wet
wood to create a hole about half the size of a football, and
expect that the size will increase, but not significantly as I
remove more. The plan is to remove as much as possible
to get down to good wood, and then seal and fill the hole
to prevent intrusion by water and insects. The question is,
with what. I was thinking of using the pruning paint that comes
in a spray can to seal and then fill in the hole with hydraulic
cement. Is this OK, or are there better options?

I'd hate to loose this tree as it provides a great deal of shade to
keep the house cool. Also, if it comes down on its own, in the wrong
direction, either my house or the neighbors is going to sustain
some serious damage.

Any thoughts???
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

cj. Don't play games with a tree that you really like call a pro.

Check your mail

Rob
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:21 AM
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Default RE: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

We had some wood peckers do serious damage to a large pine tree.

Mixed up some concrete mortar and filled the holes.

10 years and going strong !!
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

I'd suggest going to a local nursery (aroboreal/botanical nursery that is) or AGWAY and asking their advice. You can probably find applicable products at a large enough hard-ware store but they may not be able to give you more info than what is on the bottle.

Some areas also have local, county or state forestry departments (eg county extension service) that may be willing to look at this to make sure your tree hasnt developped a communicable disease. Normally their help is free since they are financed by taxes.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

I would have the tree cut down after doing tree work in High school i have seen where you thought the rot was then when you cut the tree down you can actually see the damage that was done I have seen many trees that were a good 40-50mph wind storm from coming down, especially if its close to your neighbors and your's house ..JMO
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

Clean, seal, and then concrete works well on both live and water oaks. Many that way in Charleston.



Its all relative
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

As a horticulturist, I say call an arborist (make sure it is a real arborist and not a tree trimmer) and get it assessed. Most likely, they will remove the rotten wood and fill the void with concrete but you should let a professional make that decision on a tree of that magnitude. A smaller, younger, or tree far from a structure I would possibly tackle myself. One of importance near my home is going to get the professional treatment.

Norway maples are beautiful trees, I wish you luck.
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

I'll second the concrete. My office has some huge oaks and have several rotted stubs that have been filled with either concrete or mortar. I'm no tree-surgeon, but some of these patches date back to the Eisenhower administration and are still there and the trees are still doing fine. That said, I believe I'd still call in a pro. Best of luck.
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

Thanks for the input.

I'm waiting for a call back from someone whose name
I got from the Mass. Arborist Assn. website. I'll
wait for his opinion before I go any further.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

165Striper - 7/26/2006 7:24 PM

As a horticulturist, I say call an arborist (make sure it is a real arborist and not a tree trimmer) and get it assessed. Most likely, they will remove the rotten wood and fill the void with concrete but you should let a professional make that decision on a tree of that magnitude. A smaller, younger, or tree far from a structure I would possibly tackle myself. One of importance near my home is going to get the professional treatment.

Norway maples are beautiful trees, I wish you luck.
Agreed!

Good luck with it
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: IS THERE A (tree) DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!!!

Absolutely an arborist is the way to go, a 100 plus year old Norwegian Maple is to valuable to loose. Aside from the beauty it brings to your yard/ home, the shade it provides you, home for birds and squirrels, it also provides you and your yard with a superior quality of air (cut down the tree and you’ll quickly realize the difference).

Mortar or cement is the choice of plugging material to the best of my understanding.

The rot that is occurring generally does not kill a tree by its self, it just provides an opening for other types of problems. In laymen terms: the wood closest to the core of the tree is dead wood, it offers the tree nothing more then support. The pulse/ circulation or life force of a tree happens just under the bark....this area is the life line of most any tree. In other words, cut a 2-3" band completely around the base of a tree and remove the bark and you will have effective killed the tree.....this type of wound most trees can not survive from. So for your tree to be loosing mass on the inside is not harming the tree per-say at all, but it can allow for a insects and disease problem and if enough mass is lost to rot wind becomes a problem as well. Hallow trunks in old Maples is common, so no worries, all’s not lost......if it’s just starting, that tree will be still standing long after you and I are gone from this earth.
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