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View Full Version : Who Killed this Birch Tree


mdvaden
08-25-2009, 07:35 PM
I'm pretty sure I know who was responsible for the death of this tree. Will post the photos, and maybe you folks take a guess from what you see.

The photos should progress from the top of the tree, to near the base. I cut the tree open and took photographs at intervals.

Again, the later in succession the photo posted, the farther down the tree.

So, what, who, or how do you think this tree met it's demise?

mdvaden
08-25-2009, 07:37 PM
The rest of the set

shovelracer
08-25-2009, 07:55 PM
The initial thought would be the power company, but than I look further. I see that the concrete looks relatively new -7 years, as does the underground utility work. My guess is that the roots were messed up doing that by most likely the excavation company, causing a large top branch to start to die. Judging by the 3rd pic it looks like it broke or was ripped off and not cut clean, causing the rot in the middle.

baddboygeorge
08-25-2009, 09:54 PM
power company topped it then it got infected with ants , from there they got busy!

integrityman
08-25-2009, 10:11 PM
power company topped it then it got infected with ants , from there they got busy!

I would concur. Did you see any large ants crawling out of the tree as it got cut down?

JB1
08-25-2009, 10:15 PM
grasshoppers and locusts.

mdvaden
08-26-2009, 03:14 AM
The initial thought would be the power company, but than I look further. I see that the concrete looks relatively new -7 years, as does the underground utility work. My guess is that the roots were messed up doing that by most likely the excavation company, causing a large top branch to start to die.

You are pretty darn warm in that explanation.

The second photo was not very big, but probably enough with image one to tell it was topped.

The width of the decayed areas at intervals on the stem is what caught my eye.

Look at the width of the decay in the trunk at different points. See what I mean? It sort of tells a story.

capnsac
09-06-2009, 12:43 AM
What kind of line/rope do you use around the tree and what do you use to pull it in the desired direction?

Think Green
09-06-2009, 11:13 AM
See this all the time with utility right-of-ways and city utility construction zones. Sometimes even around high maintenance lawns and improper growing conditions.

1. Root destruction.
2. Improper pruning-trimming.
3. Severely reduced oxygen and gas release from the root zones.
4. Reduced moisture content around the roots.

Over the years, improper cutting from line crews has left detrimental marks for disease and pest entry. Excessive concrete and asphalt covering the entire CRZ so water and gas/oxygen escape does not exist. The tap root has been slowly depleting thus death and has caused thinning of the crown and twigs. Too much pruning of the lateral limbs has reduced the energy storage. When that tap root dies, insects invade the core and slowly eat away the center. The tree cannot compartmentalize energy reserves. The roots are dying and cannot sustain what is needed to survive.
I am sure that the utility pole is new from possible vehiclular damage or storm damage. I can only surmise salt damage from the winter's however the other maple tree is not harmed if possible.

Think Green
09-06-2009, 12:49 PM
I can see from the trunk slice grafts that the vesicular tissue was completely blocked. The water siphoning ability of the tree was ceased. Root damage and grafting of damaged tissue allowed soil borne fungus to enter the injured sites.
I did utility work before, and looking at the first picture, there are 3 utilities tied to that one location. A cable vault, a phone ped and underground electrical!
The root restrictions and one time or multiple uses of boring equipment and construction, the roots of this tree had no chance of survival at all.

Marcos
09-06-2009, 01:37 PM
C'mon people, think outside the box!
Trees don't necessarily have to succumb to a single attacker! :waving:

My thinking is that this birch tree died from overall stress brought upon by a sorry combination of butchering on both its root system from overhead concrete work and its overall leaching effect, as well as the obvious hack-job to the canopy that later triggered the ant infestation & decay.

Think Green
09-06-2009, 09:12 PM
Birch trees are easy to kill anyway. Frost injury--lack of water--BBB--sunscald--!
These trees are just as injurious as the ill fated Ash!! Hate these trees too!!

I agree Marco, this tree has succumed to alot of stuff over the years.........Obviously one time too many!!
The way I feel right now on this subject, the maple tree and the other in the background can properly develope and expand.
I am asked to decifer the death of a tree before we cut them down.... The thing is, by that time, who knows how its death happened. Tissue sampling can tell you what the tree has ingested and absorbed over its lifetime. The trunk's growth rings tell a story of its life but, I don't dwell on fortune telling. The tree died and that is it. Things like this is why it was not profitable to do micro and macro injections around here. By the time the tree was under severe distress, the customer came calling on a hopeless case.

borwicks
09-06-2009, 09:23 PM
What kind of line/rope do you use around the tree and what do you use to pull it in the desired direction?

A quick answer to your question. Iam assuming you have all the gear and can get in and out of tree. In short, you use rigging bull rope and attach a sling around the tree. Never attach a rope back to itself. Notch 2/3 of the way threw on the side you want to fell then make your back cut.

I would use a 1/2" 12 strand bull rope for all this work.