Tree removal... sad day (sob)

famartin(z5 NE NV)May 15, 2014

On Wednesday, I had my parents 80 foot twin-trunked Pin Oak removed from their front yard. Back in the autumn of 2004, with the appreciated assistance of this forum I was able to identify an infection of bacterial leaf scorch growing within the tree. Through 2009 the infection's growth was pretty slow, but since 2010 it had progressed rapidly, and this year for the first time large sections of the crown failed to leaf out at all. So, based on diminishing landscape returns, I had it removed for my parents. I grew up with that tree, always admiring its form (two nearly identical twin trunks for 80 feet in the air) so I was never pleased with the prospects of its removal, but given nearly 10 years to mentally prepare for it, once it was obvious that large sections simply weren't coming back this year, the decision wasn't as hard as I had thought. Still, I'll miss that tree. Here are some images of the tree back before the infection had spread much in 2006, and then just last year for comparison.

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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Image from 2006

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:47AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Image from 2013

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:48AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Image from Saturday (note tree on left mostly outside of view, that's how green it *should* have been)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:51AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Final section of trunk is lifted away... no sign of rot was found in the trunk(s).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:02AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Sad. Pins seem more susceptible to BLS than other oaks, but that might just be because they are so commonly planted in urban areas, the stress of which can make BLS more likely.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:14AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Yeah, that's unfortunate. Several similar specimens that I admired growing up are the reason I have one now.

Are there other pin oaks in the area similarly affected? Pin oaks don't seem planted so much recently, but there are still quite a few older ones along the highway medians & I don't see any dying. Could be a regional thing and/or a result of local overplanting.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:10AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

There is nothing good about having to remove an old friend for whatever reason. Brings back a flood of memories. I have a somewhat similar experience that I have only hinted at on here. In 2011 my old home site, where my dad still lives was hit by a tornado. Botanical casualties included a very large American Elm that had been fending off Dutch Elm disease for a couple decades (but was slowly losing the batter). Many of great memory associated with that tree. From summer shade cooling my area of the house in very hot summer, to sitting under it and watching thunderstorms build in the afternoon, to my friends and I riding a zip line from half way up this tree down to another American Elm (that was also lost in the tornado and had been resisting DED, perhaps and offspring?). In hind site, while it was a hell of allot of fun, we are all very lucky to have never been hurt on that thing. Also lost was a Redbud I had planted when as a kid, and a VERY nice Water Oak that I had planted at about age 10 that had grown to about a 20" caliper trunk. Sad day botanically. This was much tempered by the numerous lost trees had laid down around my fathers and my sister's home, and nobody my family was injured.

No matter the reason though, it is still a personal lose. That, most people can have compassion in some form due to own personal lose.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:41AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

beng, to answer your question, there is a bottomland along a stream which runs behind their home which is prime habitat for Pin Oak... they grow naturally there. The closest tree I'm sure which had it was about two blocks down the road; that tree was removed a few years ago, but actually still struggles to return from the roots (the owner has allowed a little clump of sprouts to grow and remain).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:30AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I'm so sorry you had to remove the tree. I bet you have a thousand memories associated with it....

Your parents have a lovely home, do you think they'll plant a new tree in that spot?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:44AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Ilovemytrees, yes, but something smaller and more ornamental. I know its cliche, but maybe a flowering cherry or a japanese maple. Something that won't get gigantic and cost several thousand dollars to remove (not that they'd have to remove it since they'll probably be long dead before that need arose again).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:48AM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Oh, and thanks for the compliment Ilovemytrees, I planted the redbud, the hostas, and bought them that white fence ;)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:50AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Might I suggest Acer triflorum. Ours has grown from 3' to about 12' in about 5-6 years, buds out early in spring with bright emerald green, then has great orange fall color, then winter has the exfoliating bark that catches the snow. Some claim the bark is not as nice as griseum, but we have both species, and IMHO it is just as nice, only different.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Sorry for you and your parents loss. I have 2 Pin oaks, I would feel bad if I lost them.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:03PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Followup to beng's question: A drive around the area revealed probably 20 other Pins which are probably suffering BLS, based on the obvious die-back later in the infection stages. Of course, they can linger on for a while even with severe infection.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 2:13PM
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I'm sorry for your loss. It was a beautiful tree in its heyday.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:35PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Here's the stump. Best guess is that it germinated in the early 50s. I think its one tree despite the obvious bark inclusion which exists all the way down to just above the ground... maybe it was killed at the base and grew back?

Anyway, interesting to see how growth radically slowed in the last few years. (not sure how well it'll show up here, though)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:41AM
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