Healthy tree?

zaggen10May 12, 2014

My red maple looks well in terms of leaf cover at the moment, but I am told it has issues that could be problems in future. The main trunk divides into two about 3 ft off the ground and there is a crack going down from this. One trunk crosses over with a main branch further up. This tree does not appear to have ever been pruned and it is now quite large. It also has a root damaged during some construction work.
This all matters as we are having a new driveway and entrance, and keeping the tree will involve a big workaround - I need to be sure it is worth saving!

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Unfortunately, that looks about as bad as it gets. It is only a matter of time before it splits in two.I would not spend any extra money trying to work around it. It is a shame that someone didn't spend a few minutes pruning it when it was young.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:38PM
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Many thanks for your prompt response. I am sorry about that as it looks beautiful at the moment and it will be missed. The second image shows the extent of the crack so far which is not much but if it will only get worse then will replace with one nearby. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:09AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get rid of it.;.. negotiate the driveway job.. and seal the deal with having them remove it.. and INSURE the soil is correctly compacted for the driveway above ... if over such hole ...

dont feel sorry about it.. trees die.. life goes on ...

plant something better.. once the driveway is in ...

BTW... the driveway job itself.. will kill the tree.. but in tree years... one could probably predict with some certainty.. that it would die within 3 to 5 years.. due to the construction... so why work around it.. and then pay a tree guy to remove it in 5 years...


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:58AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Yeah...that's bad even for a red maple. That's something a *silver* maple is more likely to do.

You could cut the smaller crossing branch off but would still have the narrow crotch angle to deal with.

Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, you could have corrected it...(I realize that does you no good now!)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:59AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Well, it might last some decades like that -- or not. As you can see, it has swollen in the transverse direction of a potential split, so that wood-reinforcement helps resist a split.

That "crossing" branch above is actually helping to push the twin-leaders apart, so removing it would be a good idea.

Whatever you decide, it wouldn't hurt to plant a replacement nearby right now.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Thanks very much for your comments - so appreciated. Shall try and move on to a new tree and try not to miss this one too much :(.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:42PM
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