This Eastern Pine has only top growth so I don't know if I should take it down or just trim the lower branches.
How long do they normally last?
Thanks for your input.
You could start with removing the lower branches and if that isn't good enough go on and take down the whole tree
I've seen worse...looks like you have a large property? If there's no reason to need more sun in that area, you chould just leave it and trim out the lower dead branches. They last pretty long where they are happy, i.e., in their native range. Are you north of Mason-Dixon or south of it; if south of it are you above 1000'?
in nature.. its a telephone pole ...
that is its natural form.. in the available sun ...
there is NOTHING to fix ...
you can change the look by trimming it up ...
but again ... it wont change its natural form nor shape ... nor growth habits ...
with two leaders.. and the power lines there.. get rid of it.. carefully .... especially if you are personally going to have to pay to reset that power source ... should the tree take it out ...
I can't tell how tall it is, but they can get 100 + feet tall. If it isn't near that tall yet, I would guess it could still get a good thick upper crown. If it is super tall already, maybe the sun available isn't plentiful enough for better crown thickening, well.... basically what Ken said.
If that is white pine, they get very big (>100') and live a long time (200-400 years). The split trunk looks a little odd but not unhealthy. Lower branches dying is normal unless tree is in full sun.
By itself, I might consider removing if I had the resources - due to power lines, but chances of falling on lines doesn't seem excessively high. Also, if you cut it down, with those other trees just fill in the space and you are left with the same problem down the road? There are lots of trees that are far weaker than white pine!
I'm surprised the utility company hasn't already came and butchered it.
Based on the assumption the lane is 8 to 10 feet wide the tree looks like it is about 20 to 30 feet from the power lines. Base on the type of tree, I do not see any need to remove it.
As for the low branches, unless you are willing to hire someone with climbers or a cherry picker. You can remove the lower dead branches with a hammer and a long rope. Tie the hammer to the end of the rope, and arrange the rope so it can feed freely. The throw the hammer over the dead branch, feed the rope until the hammer reaches the ground that pull the branch down by pulling both ends of the rope.
MAKE SURE YOU STAY CLEAR AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE IN THE AREA.
If you can not pull the limb down it tells you something about the general state of the tree.
I have used this method for years to keep my trees clean of dead wood.