The Tree House loves TreeStuff!

Supporting a Weak Limb

  • Thread starter Mr. Sir
  • Start date
  • Replies 38
  • Views 4K
M

Mr. Sir

Guest
This long low live oak lead grows out over the driveway. The owner wants to keep it, but it is getting closer to the ground every year. Because of the structure of the tree, a cable is not a practical alternative. I suggested some type of support post or column to brace the limb from the ground in the mulch bed near the corner of the garage. Any suggestions or advice would be welcome.
 

Attachments

M

Mr. Sir

Guest
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks, I forgot about that thread. Whatever is used will have to allow for some lateral movement.
 

SkwerI

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
18,211
Location
central Florida
That was quick, Brendon!

Bret, it's not difficult. I have only used galvanized pipe since that's what was used on the one over the canal. That one is over 50 years old so longevity shouldn't be an issue. On the one for my neighbor I used a 5 gallon bucket full of cement for the base. That was about 8-9 years ago and it's holding perfectly. We've taken measurements and it hasn't dropped at all since the brace was installed. I made the top in a wide U shape to cradle the limb and allow for growth without girdling it.
 
N

NeTree

Guest
Maybe overkill, but if that was MY house I'd build a small brick support column that matched the house. I think it would look great and visually tie the tree into the house in a cool way.
 
M

Mr. Sir

Guest
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Maybe overkill, but if that was MY house I'd build a small brick support column that matched the house. I think it would look great and visually tie the tree into the house in a cool way.
We think alike, Erik. :) That was my suggestion to the owner and she agreed that it would be great to match the architecture of the house. My concern is the lateral movement of that limb. A rigid brick support would soon crumble. There would have to be some way to compensate for swaying in the breeze.
 
N

NeTree

Guest
I had considered that; I pictured a granite half-sphere at the base. Make the mortar plastic. Small jointed wrought iron post to attach to the limb. I think it'd be okay.
 
M

Mr. Sir

Guest
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Plastic mortar? Is there such an animal? Do elaborate on the limb attachment, please. I like the idea of the half-dome base. So the entire column would rock back and forth, right?
 

SkwerI

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
18,211
Location
central Florida
Or just install the galvanized pipe support and then build a brick column around it (but not touching it). Even if the brick crumbles in 10-20 years the support will not be affected.
 
M

Mr. Sir

Guest
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
I'm not sure how much lateral movement there is, but it could be a lot, up to 12" or more. A brick column won't last long if it gets wacked a few times. Maybe I should make the support rigid to restrict the movement. :?
 

SkwerI

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
18,211
Location
central Florida
How much does the limb move now (at the spot where you want to put the brace)? I'll go take some pictures of my neighbor's tree tomorrow. His is very close to the house and it doesn't move enough to worry about, although it isn't as far from the trunk as yours. You could also do multiple supports similar to the tree over the canal.

I'd think that once you determined the amount of lateral movement, then you could build the brick column facade to the appropriate size so the brace didn't hit it. I'd suggest not doing both at the same time. Give the brace time to settle in and have an opportunity to see how much it will move first. Build the brick thing in Jan or Feb when work is slow.
 

NickfromWI

King of Splices
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
4,992
Location
Snowless California
I have a different idea that I think you'll like...lemme make a sketch and see if it makes sense on paper. It makes sense in my head right now, but those 2 are sometimes very different!

love
nick
 

NickfromWI

King of Splices
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
4,992
Location
Snowless California
Here's one idea... Suspend it from a cable inside. This might still work with your brick column idea instead of a pyramid below.

I've got another but I can't make it look right on paper...gimme a minute...
 

Attachments

M

Mr. Sir

Guest
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Very interesting. I like it. :D
 

NickfromWI

King of Splices
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
4,992
Location
Snowless California
If you want the max in side to side movement, I think something like this would be ideal. The angles are all off because I'm not a good drawer, but you get the idea.

The downfall to this idea is that it has a larger footprint than a column.. It could be made attractive, I'm sure.

From the pictures I saw, it looks like a limb/tree worth saving.

As I look at this picture again, I realize it might not be clear that the pyramid has a cable hanging from it. The cable holds up the branch.

If you wanted to go all out, you could have a piece of dynamic cable with the rubber shock absorber insert. Then I might even back that up with steel cable. I'm not sure about that part though. It'd start looking very Frankenstein-ish

love
nick
 

Attachments

N

NeTree

Guest
Nick's first pic would nail the wrought iron attachment to a "T".

Plastic? Yes... in other words, type III cement. (Cement and concrete do flex.)
 

stehansen

Climbing Up
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
9,187
Location
Ceres, CA
I thinking of a variation of Nick's idea. Putting up a steel column on one side of the limb extending up and then going 90 degrees over the limb with a steel rod or whatever extending down to the limb and supporting it from above. You could put some sort of hinge in the rod at the the column and another at the limb giving it some flexibility for lateral movement and you could put whatever kind of facade around the column that you wanted. I guess it would look kind of like a hangman gallows:).
 

SkwerI

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
18,211
Location
central Florida
Idunno about the hanging support thing, especially anything attempting to support the limb from the side. I'd probably suggest putting a steel brace right in front of the corner of the house and then hide it with a big thick bush. That would be less intrusive than trying to create a big arch dealio or brick column in the yard.
 
N

NeTree

Guest
Hell, you could just cut a 4x4 to length and ram it in with a sledge, too.

;)
 

stehansen

Climbing Up
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
9,187
Location
Ceres, CA
Idunno about the hanging support thing, especially anything attempting to support the limb from the side. I'd probably suggest putting a steel brace right in front of the corner of the house and then hide it with a big thick bush. That would be less intrusive than trying to create a big arch dealio or brick column in the yard.
You don't like big arch dealios. I suspected you were a communist.:D
 

SkwerI

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
18,211
Location
central Florida
Here is the one I put in 8-9 years ago. In hindsight I realize I should have put it in straight (vertical) instead of angling it into the limb. I was more concerned with function and less with appearance. The cradle part should have been wider as well, but the homeowner 'helped' me and had that part already assembled before I could adjust the width.

Regardless, the pipe could easily 'disappear' behind a decent size podocarpus shrub or similar.
 

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
14,132
Location
Northern Ohio
I have only seen live oak trees on sevaral occasions .Once in Myrtle Beach SC and when I was in Florida several years ago . Never seen any tree any where spread out like they do .

How in the world did they ever cut the planking and timbers for the USS Constitution out of that stuff .:? That old ship has something like 20 inchs of planking on it and would literally stop solid shot cannon balls thus the name "Old ironsides " Tough wood ,tough ship .
 
The Tree House Loves TreeStuff!
Top