Will my Pine Tree Fall

shw001(6/MD)April 20, 2010

I have what I believe is a white pine, about 100 feet tall. It is leaning about 15-20 degrees, and has been doing so for a long time. The trunk, about 2-1/2 feet diameter, comes out of the ground fairly straight up, but beginning about 15-20 feet up starts to bend. This is probably due to a tall sycamore that used to be nearby, not allowing this tree to grow straight.

How could I tell if this tree will fall? Although it lost at least a dozen large limbs during the heavy snowstorms this winter it seems healthy. Even top leaves are a rich green color. It must be pretty old? Does that mean it could just die soon and could topple? This is in suburban street and it could take out power lines, cars, and people if it fell.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Hello shw,

The best inspection for your tree will come from a certified arborist. A fella with no financial incentive to have your tree "topped to ensure lack of wind sheer" or cut down so his company makes several thousand dollars during a slow week.

Around my house my eyes are always on the big white ash trees. Ever since one already showing a great wound from before I moved in, lost a tree size branch and had to be removed I keep a close eye on the rest.

Oh, and watch for rot near the bottom. That claimed two of my junk silver maples.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 12:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i agree.. you need a local opinion.. and not from a guy who is willing to make his boat payment from you paying him to take it down ....

but frankly .. this is a forest tree ... and you dont live in a forest..

as you suspect ... it is a danger to everyone within.. what did you say.. 100 feet ....

be done with it ...


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Dan Staley

How could I tell if this tree will fall?

You can't. Too many factors at play for a distance diagnosis. As above, certified arborist only.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 9:44AM
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Thanks all.
I thought if the tree were nearing its age limit, I would save the cost of the arborist and just take it down. I will follow your advice and get to the Yellow Pages to find a certified arborist.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 11:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well if you are inclined to be done with it.. i agree.. dont bother with a arborist ...

its already severely damaged... and a threat.. what more info do you need???

i would NOT hesitate for one minute to be done with it ... i had six 35 footers taken out a few years back.. 15 feet from the house.. i sleep much better at night knowing i wont die in my sleep ...

and there is NOTHING you are going to do about that lean ...


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:08AM
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But then again, an arboricultural inspection (maybe $100?) might say it is safe, and save on $10,000 felling costs . . .

Eastern White Pine can live several hundred years.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:07PM
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The cost is only $1,500. But, we hate to take down a nice specimen. It is near the street, so they can pull the trucks almost near it.

How accurate are arborists predictions on these things? I'v known more than one person who got a good report from their doctor and passed within a week or two. The tree has been leaning for years, no sudden changes lately.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 6:58AM
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