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is the tree dying should it be cut?  RSS feed

 
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i have a very large maple tree, about 50-60 feet tall and the top 2/3 of it is dead, no leaves came out this year and there is moss and fungri growing on it. at the bottom 10--15' there are all these tiny branches and leaves that came out real late it was like mid june before any leaves started growing. in a heavy wind if the top were to break could crash into my roof. I don't cut any live trees for any reason but with this one tree possibly endangering my house I'm considering cutting it this fall. looking for opinions.
 
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Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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In the absence of pictures and more info., any opinion would be just that, ...an opinion. But, my opinion is, cut down the tree before a falling dead branch hits somebody or your house.
 
gardener
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It sounds like it's nearly dead and is just sending out sucker branches to attempt to stay alive.  I'd cut it.  Those suckers can grow really fast and appear to be solid wood but since they grew fast they can be kind of weak.  Add that to a rotting central trunk and it is just waiting to fall in a windstorm.

Once it's cut you may get a bunch of new sprouts from the stump.  If you want to let a few grow they would form a decent tree.  It will grow quickly due to the strong root system.  If you ever see a bunch of 3-5 maple trees in the woods, this is often how they started their life.  Their original tree got cut and they were the suckers that grew from the stump and got big.
 
gardener
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An ethical dilemma about cutting a tree? Delightful... My approach would be to honor the trees that were already cut (while alive) so that the house could be built. Honor them by protecting the house from damage by a dying tree. Because if the sick tree falls on the house, living trees will be cut to make the repairs. So by cutting the dying tree, you are not only honoring the previously cut trees, you are also honoring the trees that are currently living, and would be cut, (while alive) to effect the repairs.

So honor life, by cutting the tree.

tree-of-life.gif
[Thumbnail for tree-of-life.gif]
Everything is connected.
 
bruce Fine
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i never cut living trees unless absolutely nessesary. i'm a firm believer in letting them grow and do what they are supposed to do, now invasive species, that is a whole nother issue. i'll never forget how saddened i was when the state cut all the giant austrailian pines down that were all along the florida turnpike for many decades if not generations b4 me.
on my property i can let trees grow the way the are supposed to.
 
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Your description is of a tree with a rotting heart wood, it is a danger to not only your house but to anyone who happens to be in the path during a high wind event.
While it is honorable to try and hold on to any tree, even if it only provides housing for animals and birds, in this case the prudent thing to do is remove it.

Suckers forming at the base with a dead crown means that only the cambium near the base is capable of surviving and that the center of the tree is disappearing.

In the logging industry this type of tree is considered a widow maker, just waiting for the right conditions to come down and crush someone or something.

I agree with your assessment of it being time for it to be removed.
Maple is a great wood, so if you can, make use of the wood that remains, this will honor the tree spirit by giving it new life as furniture or other items.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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bruce Fine wrote:i never cut living trees unless absolutely nessesary. i'm a firm believer in letting them grow and do what they are supposed to do, now invasive species, that is a whole nother issue. i'll never forget how saddened i was when the state cut all the giant austrailian pines down that were all along the florida turnpike for many decades if not generations b4 me.
on my property i can let trees grow the way the are supposed to.



Sometimes what a tree is "supposed to do" is to be cut and turned into lumber (building materials) or fuel wood.

Sometimes cutting out diseased or misshapen trees is the best thing for the ecology of a woodlot as a whole.

This world isn't perfect.  Things often don't do as they're "supposed to."

I find it interesting that in your first post you stated that you don't cut down living trees "for any reason."  Then you softened it in this post to "unless absolutely necessary."  Then you threw it all out the window with the comment on invasive trees.  Just a little further and you'll find yourself cutting down living trees for all sorts of honorable and thoughtful reasons. 

That's good, because in this case the thing you should do is cut down this tree.
If it makes you feel better, you might console yourself with the thought that it's basically already dead.  If your body started sloughing off arms and legs, you might consider that you're basically dead despite the presence of a heartbeat.
 
pollinator
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Wes Hunter wrote: invasive trees.



A lot of good points.  I wanted to add, I have come to despise the term "invasive trees".
 
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