Monday, September 17, 2012

Reduction of a Silver Maple

I am a firm believer that we can save more mature trees with defects.  Large mature trees provide us with a higher quality of ecosystem services than small trees.  I am not saying we shouldn't be planting trees, but what I am saying, is there are options for retaining our larger trees that some would consider a hazard.

The pictures below are case in point.  This silver maple, thought of as a weak wooded species, has a large cavity in the lower stem, and several decayed root flares.  Three years ago, instead of removing the tree, a drastic crown reduction was performed.  Over all crown weight and height was reduced, not topped out.  The tree still stands today, now shorter, but better protected by wind and weather by its neighboring mature trees.  The concept is basic, shorter and lighter objects are less likely to fall over.

I tell everyone the same thing, "trees don't want to fall over." But, as with everything tree species, age, size, and vitality play into whether or not this is an appropriate treatment based upon the perceived defects.

The arrows point out specific large pruning cuts