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multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

Posted by kimpa z6b PA (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 1, 11 at 20:19

My 30' Alaska Cedar has 4 large trunks. Is this normal for this tree? I am worried that it will eventually split and might hit my house. I cut off some branches that were rubbing on the trunks. But I have one trunk that has 6 big branches against another trunk. If I cut the branches, I am afraid I will unbalance the trunk and cause it to fall.

I probably need to consult an arborist but thought I'd ask if this is the way they grow. Thank for any info you can provide.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

I think this might be normal since Forest Farm has a picture of a multiple trunked Alaskan Cedar on their website. If you dont like it then an arborits would be best. They would know exactly what to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Forest Farm

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

Thanks for the Forest Farm link... Nice looking tree. When I heard cedar and multi-trunked I thought mutant.. The Alaska version obviously has that.

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

Multi-trunks are a defect on that tree. ISA certified only for something like that if near structures or pedestrians.


RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

i dont know if i would invest in the ISA opinion ....

i think i would tend toward using that money for removal .... and you dont need an experts opinion to cut down a tree ... just a guy with a saw and his own insurance ... which you verify before he starts the saw ...

because the issue is not the tree per se ...

its all about your comfort zone.. of having a tree.. that large.. where it will endanger the house ... and bother you .. and that is a psyche eval.. not a tree eval ... lol ...

in my world.. this is an opportunity for renewal ... just get rid of it.. and plant some things to replace it ... no matter how much i would love this tree ... i could not stand wondering when i would have to make an insurance claim ... in other words.. my house is more important that a mis-shapened tree ..

yes the problem is endemic to the industry ... had you planted it when it was a foot or two tall.. you could have selected or pruned the tree to a single leader ... and the problem would have ended there ... but alas.. you were not there.. 28 feet ago .... and it is much to late .. IMHO .. to do anything about it.. other than removal ...

this is another example of someone planting a plant.. to hide the foundation.. and planting it on the foundation.. only to find out.. decades later.. that that cute little 2 foot tree.. has the potential to be a forest monster ....

its just not in the right spot ....

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: skip all the foo foo plants.. and look what they can do in a forest

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

Can you post a photo? Often these trees will generate very low growing branches that after a period of time can give the impression of multiple trunks. Layering to create a spreading, apparently multi-trunked form is quite common with this species. Although not particularly clear, I think that's what the ForestFarm pic indicates. FWIW, some of the very narrow selections of this tree ('Green Arrow', 'Van den Akker', 'Strict Weeping') often display this type of growth.

Personally, without looking at the tree and where it is sited, I think recommendations of removal are a bit premature.

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

if she says: I am worried that it will eventually split and might hit my house.

===>>>> then the only appropriate suggestion is that it be removed.. to remove her anxiety ... period ...

at this point .. it is NOT really a tree issue ... its about her anxiety ...

yes.. she can spend $250 dollars for an opinion.. then perhaps $500 for tree surgery ... and perhaps repeated visits ..

but that isnt going to do much for her anxiety ... nor her pocketbook ... yes.. if she has unlimited checkbook.. spend the bucks ...

in my world.. spend once.... and be done with it.. and exhale that held breath ... my house is more important to me.. than any tree.. or the tree guys boat payment[forgive me dan.. lol] ...

how is a picture going to help you cure her anxiety .... and who would rely on a garden expert for treating anxiety ?????


RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

then the only appropriate suggestion is that it be removed..

I beg to differ. Many people have thoughts or 'anxieties' about their trees that are not based in reality. Without a photo to confirm that there is any hazard present - which may or may not be the case with this tree - arbitrarily removing it is unnecessary. With this kind of approach, we'd all be dealing with a lot fewer trees in this world......I have 'anxieties' that the large native conifers leaning over the roads I drive to work every day are going to one day give up and fall on my car as I drive by. Possible - yes. Likely - not very.

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar

I have a vacation mobile east of Astoria, OR (rural, far NW corner of state) in a Trailer Court. The space next to mine has a 60 ft+ cedar with at least 6 trunks plus at least one straight up branch as big as the trunks. As usual, some fear and others love this mighty tree.

A logging co just bought the 16-Acre wooded parcel but we haven't heard if the TC portion of the acreage is going to be saved.

I'm going to ask the local newspaper if it's news worthy enough to come out and take pictures.

RE: multi-trunk Alaska Cedar


If that tree had been properly kept with a single leader from the beginning it would be all more impressive. What you have is a tree that may seem impressive, but if it were to be measured, only one of those trunks (the largest) would be a candidate. That simple fact makes that tree non-worthy without being rude... which is a tough sentence to write to someone I don't know, on a personal level.



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