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xtremetrees

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Discuss what you see.

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The patched hole in the tin roof is what caused use to look at the tree. There are two broken hangers still above the gazebo, which we should secure with a throwball line before we climb up. (Dont want any chance of the hangers dislodging during our climb to them). Dead wood the tree and remove approx 10 % of sucker growth on interior. Pruning complete!
Roots- the biggest problem here is the mulch! Its black mulch and during summer for the tree it must be like wearing a black overcoat. Remove all that then air spade (radial trench wagon wheel) Basal drench with cambistate and ammend. Problem fixed. THe dieback in the top will stop, root growth will be enhanced but heres the kicker with the cambisat the crown will double in vibrancy but 1/2 in elongation! No soil testing, ph testing, injections. Totally non invasive treatment.
 

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Blinky

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Classic spiking damage. Doesn't look too bad though if you give the roots some help.
 

sawinredneck

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Yeah, I'm not buying spike damage either!! It's to random of a pattern and in some very odd places!
 
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Jonseredbred

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Looks like plenty of room to flop it!!
 

TC3

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... Problem fixed. The dieback in the top will stop...
That assessment might be a bit optimistic ?
What kind of tree is it ? Red Oak ?
By the photos, it's right on schedule for post construction damage... I'd say 9 years. Soil compaction & hair root damage will be difficult to reverse, but your recommendations seem right on. Slowing the decline on an 80 yr. old tree is a challenge.
Regarding the damage: Like Blinky, my first thought was spikes on the main trunk. But the same pic shows the underside(s) of limbs with the same type of wounds, as mentioned in posts. I don't think it's a fungal infection, but a reaction to stress as well as probable spiking in the past ?
 
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Blinky

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The wounds on the underside of the limb are probably something different but the ones following the cable up the tree... spike holes for certain.

We have several parks around here where they used to prune with spikes - same patterns. That's why spiking a tree that has a future sucks. Even if it lives (and most of them do), it still has those obvious, crappy scars.

I don't think spikes are tree killers, most trees live after they're spiked... but spikes DO damage trees and leave wounds open for fungal infection. I've only seen one tree that I know was killed as a result of spike damage... but it was a beauty.

Here's the same thing as above, just a little older, somebody spiked up to install a light. The tree is in fine condition but it's also the centerpiece in front of a $2M home... scars and all.



What's funny is there is a park downtown in Raleigh with 5 or 6 mature willow oaks and you can tell the climber was pretty insecure... the scars get closer and closer together as they go higher... to the point that they're about 3" apart; they were only 10" apart at the base. You could tell exactly where he went up and came down. The bigger limbs had scars all over'em, top, bottom, sides, no pattern, just random.

I'm not anti-spike, I use'em all the time, but not on hardwoods I don't plan to kill... and generally not on pine prunes either unless my throwline TIP is too sketchy to trust.
 

No_Bivy

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Im not sure.....under some of those limbs seems improbable...hmmmmmmmmm:/:
 
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Blinky

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I agree the ones on the bottom of the limbs are probably not gaff holes... on a tree like that, maybe somebody banged in some Christmas lights or something, can't really say.
 
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Mr. Sir

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It looks like borer damage or slime flux that we get on a lot of the bluejack oaks around here. Probably brought on by construction damage.
 

treelooker

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hey chip are you talking about that playground behind the church where we counted 74 spike wounds? :laugh: o and hey i'll call ya tomorrow after i see the oaks at the zen center.

Robert that oak is eaten up with phytophthora--tc was right, construction ravage big root damage. You don't want to be giving any rosy forecasts of recovery just yet.

phosphite trunk drench is the treatment of choice--do it yesterday.

y'all don't feel too bad about hypothesizing wounding on those lesions--that used to be my guess until bruce fraedrich set me straight. Last time I saw them that high on the stem was a root-damaged oak at duke gardens--tree croaked shortly after.

o and robert you DO need to do a soil test, and probe to see how things are down there. Maybe an overall fluffing/inoculation of the soil in a grid, along with the trenching.
 

treesandsurf

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I don't think spikes are tree killers, most trees live after they're spiked... but spikes DO damage trees and leave wounds open for fungal infection. I've only seen one tree that I know was killed as a result of spike damage... but it was a beauty.
Blinky, I'm curious how you determined (or someone else?) that the tree was killed as a result of spike damage? Seems there are so many factors which lead to the death of a tree that it would be difficult to narrow it down to an initial wounding such as from spike damage; but I'm definitely interested in the process to determine the original (or primary) cause of death for any tree....

jp:D
 

TC3

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Blinky, I'm curious how you determined (or someone else?) that the tree was killed as a result of spike damage? Seems there are so many factors which lead to the death of a tree that it would be difficult to narrow it down to an initial wounding such as from spike damage; but I'm definitely interested in the process to determine the original (or primary) cause of death for any tree....

jp:D
The spike damage itself is easy to discern >>> teardrop shaped wounds (Xtreme's pix showed fractures, not teardrops). These wounds create an opening for fungi, bacteria & pathogens. It also, at the very least, interrupts the flow of nutrients.
Trailing / assessing / judging how much damage has actually been caused & to what extent is damn near impossible.
Did your parents divorcing cause you lifelong damage ? Did the spill you took on your bike which broke your knee cause a decline in your health at age 50 ?? Did eating red meat twice a day for forty years affect your health ???
It is definitely subjective, but common sense will tell you that every li'l bit counts.
Atleast, that's my .02
 
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Blinky

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Guy can probably explain it better. It was a large oak with a large, serious decay area radiating downward from a spike scar in an obvious spike trail. The decay had been growing for some time and the tree wasn't successful compartmentalizing it. Obviously there were lots of factors - soil compaction from a nearby driveway, drought conditions... but the decay appeared to be a result of infection of the spike hole with no other apparent vector.

Maybe it wasn't the spike hole but given the number of trees that are spiked and live, sooner or later a spike wound is gonna be the beginning of the end for a few of them.

I'm not trying to start a spike wars discussion. I've conceded without equivocation that most trees survive spiking. Is it asking too much for ARBORISTS to concede that spikes can and do cause damage and ultimately some trees to die?

If those lesions are phytophthora then I stand corrected but I've seen bleeding scars just like that on a Quercus stellata that the customer verified as two year old gaff wounds. As far as that goes, Xtreme's tree could be Phytophthora cankers bleeding from spike wounds. Is the cambium and inner bark around the cankers wet and yellowish or reddish brown? Are there also lesions in the roots and root crown?
 

treesandsurf

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Is it asking too much for ARBORISTS to concede that spikes can and do cause damage and ultimately some trees to die?
Not at all; and I'm not trying to challenge anyone. I'm interested in the process of tracing the decline/death back to any one factor.

You can make a best educated guess but until you take a sample down to a lab and have it confirmed under the scope, you're still playing armchair arborist.

jp:D
 

rumination

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I think that, with the exception of catastrophic events, most tree decline/death is due to a number of interrelated and compounded events, not one single factor. However, I would agree that often there is one source of stress that is more significant than the others and that could be considered the "root" (ha!) cause of the trees decline.

Cool new avatar Jon. Rainbow gum in Hawaii Kai somewhere?
 

treesandsurf

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You nailed it Leon. E. deglupta in the back of the valley at Hawaii Kai. Now, let's see if you recognize the rope....

jp:D
 

treelooker

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Chip's description was accurate. Here's another spike-caused death:

A TALE OF TWO OAK TREES

Lightning struck twice in Wake County, NC last year, and two big oak trees bore the brunt. What happened next tells a tale of Scrooge-like assumptions, and how Great Expectations can go awry.

The second oak majestically defined the edge of the historic district in Fuquay-Varina. Two years before, the Capital Trees Program had given it an Historic Tree Award. Scant lawn in full sun covered half the root system, and little of the rest was mulched. The lightning damage seemed just slightly wider than the first, so the arborist started treating the wound as before.

Below some old pruning cuts halfway down, a portion of bark over 4’ square was detached. Curiously, it wasn’t near the lightning wound! Insects had entered wounds made by climbing spikes and eaten away the cambium. That climber must have dug in his spikes to keep his balance as he cut, with Great Expectations that those little holes couldn’t possibly hurt that great big tree. Aggravating this injury was the bare ground underneath. Oaks being ring-porous, the roots that were needed to help repair this damaged side of the tree had too many problems of their own to perform that function.

Added to the lightning wound, this human-made injury put the total dead bark area over one-third of the circumference. Despite insect control, fertilization, and, belatedly, mulch, the prognosis was poor. Little scar tissue grows, and half the crown is pale. The tree’s useful years were over, clearly due to the use of climbing spikes and root abuse.

jp, your "until you take a sample down to a lab and have it confirmed under the scope, you're still playing armchair arborist."

is pure bs. wtf does a lab have to do with linking cause and effect? Do we need labs to think? I think not. You're sounding more like an apologist for lazy climbers than a devils advocate here. I'm not gonna judge anyone who spikes eucs to prune em cuz i don't work on eucs. but on trees around here there is NO justification for spiking prunes.

Where's Robert and his croaking oak?
 
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Blinky

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jp, I wasn't directing that question at you but to 'us' in general.

As for the single cause thing, you have to point to something as a principle cause. Did the man die of menegitus or a compromised immune system? ...what caused the compromised immune system; alcholism or the chemicals in the factory where he worked? Even with the best tests the question remains, which of those factors was the principle cause of death... you have to write something on the death certificate right?

In this case, unless they decided to let it stand another year, the ultimate cause of death was 'chainsaw'. The tree was condemned because of the extensive decay but it wasn't actually dead yet.

...and you know that's how Guy talks to you if he likes you, right?
 
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Frans

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Lets not get too hot under the collar guys.....

Remember that a tree is a collection of interconnected parts.

Think of this analogy:

when the stock market crashed in 1929, it was not a single solitary event which caused this, it was a series of events.

A tree is much the same as an organization, municipality, etc.

Yes you can take a soil sample, or bring in foliage to the lab, or even dissect a section of stem or make an educated guess.
All of these methods will help you to understand the specific causes which help to precipitate the eventual decline of the tree.

But which one tipped the scales from a tree that can withstand injury and disease to a tree which succumbs?
 

treelooker

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Lets not get too hot under the collar guys.....8)
But which one tipped the scales from a tree that can withstand injury and disease to a tree which succumbs?
That is what forensic arborists do as expert witnesses. You don't want to be on the wrong end of a case, pointing at related factors when you know dam well that the harm you did was avoidable and highly contributory.

Hey love ya jp, mean it!
 

TC3

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Guy, can you please explain more about the phosphite drench ? I'm not familiar, & googling it didn't really shed light on it for me ?
 
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