Chop this kousa?

kbard(6b PA)September 22, 2013

I'm guessing this tree didn't get its winter wrapping when it was young because this damage is on the southwest side. We haven't had the house for a long time so I don't know how old the tree is. It leafs out ok and is blooming right now but the branches are shorter on the affected side. Is it doomed? We are borrowing a chainsaw for the week and if it's only got a few years left I would rather chop it now.

Thanks in advance

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbard(6b PA)

By blooming I mean its red thingys

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 2:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smivies

"By blooming I mean its red thingys"

Those would be the fruit....the flowers are hard to miss in May, they are white and cover the branches.

Even though the tree isn't in great shape, I'd hold off on the chainsaw for a few years. I'm sure you'll be able to easily borrow one when you actually need it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ricksample(6)

What does the rest of the tree look like? Photos? If it were me, my decision would be based on what the top of the tree looks like. If it's been doing fine like that for years, I don't see why it wouldn't in the future. If it takes a turn for the worse, you can easily borrow a chain saw and have it gone in just minutes. If it has a nice canopy, I would definitely keep it. But you said the branches are shorter one the affected side?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbard(6b PA)

The top of the tree is fine, it's just that on the good side, the branches are about 20-30% higher and sticking out that much farther as well, but that's only from one angle so it doesn't look that bad. I guess I will leave it for now

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Agreed, do not cut it now. Based on the trunk I will just hazard a guess it is not a danger to anything not sleeping under it.

Enjoy the fall colors, the flowers and the spring show. Maybe after the next Presidential election start thinking about what you would like if it ever goes down hill.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Looks pretty bad to me. How long do you want that huge wound to be part of the scene there? I would also wonder about the dogwood snapping off sometime where there is that interruption in the trunk - I don't see it replacing the bark over that section for a long time. Maybe it will effectively be bare there, with exposed heartwood indefinitely. And if it ever replaces the outer shell in that part, what condition will the heartwood be in by then? Larger trees often end up with cavities just from where an individual branch was lost.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

can you get some film of you chopping with a chain saw?????

since you took the pic from that side.. may i guess there is a sidewalk there.. and if so.. suggest that it limbed up higher on that side to avoid poking out guests eyes???

lets be clear... a tree in this condition could live another decade or two.. or die next year ....

but there are two bottom lines for me...

first.. presumably ... its out your front door.. and basically ugly ..... and already bugging you.. get rid of it ...

second .... its already bugging you .... get rid of it ...

since it is out in a prime space.. i would suggest you cut it to a long stump.. just blow the lowest branches.. and start digging... since that space will be needed... for something new.. this isnt a spot where you want to look at a rotting stump for 5 years ....

if you can.. sharpen your shovel.. before you start digging.. about 2 feet out from the trunk.. and keep going.. until you find the one or two large roots that will need to be cut.. using the trunk to rock it back and forth.. to help you find the roots...

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smivies

"since it is out in a prime space.. i would suggest you cut it to a long stump.. just blow the lowest branches.. and start digging... since that space will be needed... for something new.. this isnt a spot where you want to look at a rotting stump for 5 years"

OMG Ken...it's less than 6" in diameter. Cut it flush with the ground and cover with mulch. Why the OP even needs a chainsaw is beyond me, a good hand pruning saw would make short work of it.

OP...please leave it for a few years if you can. It's currently healthy, it'll be hard to replace with a similar size one, and it presents very little insurance/hazard risk (sic Ken).

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you dont understand.. if OP is anything like me ...

when you have the option of firing up the chainsaw.. you GOTTA find things to chop down ... healthy or not... lol ...

its a chainsaw thing.. not a plant thing ...

maybe even going as far as knocking on doors.. and seeing if any of the neighbors have anything to chainsaw ... relatives.. peeps in the next county .. etc...

i too would leave the stump.. but on 5 acres.. this tree would not have been within feet of the castles front door ... i did say.. if they needed the spot.. to dig it up ....

ken

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smivies

I don't know Ken? If the prose you subject us to is any indication, there are very few people like you....(all in jest).

This post was edited by smivies on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 16:40

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
j0nd03

OP, I will trade my advice on how to handle the dogwood for the white Audi behind the tree.

John

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbard(6b PA)

Interesting discussion everyone

First of all.... Ken
I appreciate your concern but....
I live about 8 miles from any sidewalks....
So.... Not much ...danger...
Of poking out an....
Eyeball

That is my best effort at a "Ken's Prose Haiku"

I guess I'll just trim it to make it even for a while. I was just sort of wanting to decide on a long term perennial plan for the bed but the lifespan of the tree is sort of cramping my planning style since I don't know how long it will be there ... It mostly has annuals now. But it does look pretty decent so I'll move on to some other project. Thanks guys

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

never though of it as haiku ....

i dont really think you should encourage me in that regard.. lol ...

me think doth protest too muck.. i see one errant wild one in there... prune it back to a live side branch.. about 6 inches into the tree..

and ignore the rest ...

that thing will probably live for another decade ...

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
beng(z6 western MD)

That's a fair amount of scar tissue formed, so it's making a good attempt at healing. Leave it for now. The dried heartwood should resist rotting for some time. A couple of deer-rubbed trees of mine have recovered from similar wounds.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bwaynef(z7 SC)

It looks like I'm late to this discussion, but won't let that stop me from sharing my opinion.

I'm not sure if they're still making MinWax Wood Hardener, but if you're worried that the exposed heartwood is going to rot away thereby damaging the structure of the tree, you can coat the exposed wood with (a product similar to) that.

Also, its counter-intuitive, but if you take a really sharp knife and shave off the very edge of the scar, that will promote the scar to continue rolling over more quickly. After this procedure, apply a sealant to the newly exposed scar. In a pinch, vaseline or Preparation-H works. The spray-on stuff is ugly, but there might be some sort of sealant-putty available at big-box stores.

Both recommendations given above are common practice with bonsai.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sequoiadendron4(6B)

Holy Hanna! I'd chop that right down. I'm with Ken, dig that guy outta there and plant something new. Why waste a few years on a 'maybe' tree when you can plant something of your choice and enjoy watching it grow....

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
famartin(z5 NE NV)

Hey this thread finally revealed that Ken is really just a big chain saw junkie. No wonder he always advises people to remove their trees!

Hey, my parents might have one or two you could eliminate... ;)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
famartin(z5 NE NV)

As far as the actual topic of this thread... it'll be a while before that gets really big. Lots of time to see what happens with it, whether that heals properly or not. Obviously it will take some time. If the original poster considers it an eye sore, then remove it. If they like it, then leave it. Its a long ways from hurting anyone.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:39AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pruning yaupon holly as tree
The builder put in 15 gal (I think) yaupon holly shrubs...
Meghan Mccarthy
Trunk Rot. Should I shovel prune or can this little JM recover?
shovel prune or is this something it can recover from?...
kjmm1
Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production (3)
Continuing from part 1 and 2 (maximum posts reached) Good...
gardener365
Nutmeg Hickory
Anyone here growing this species? I received one that's...
alabamatreehugger
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™