All Trees Eventually Fail

May 13, 2013


All trees eventually fail. They become old, they sustain injury, and they lose their ability to defend against disease and decay. Usually the tree will fall, or it will be removed in order to mitigate potential risk to humans or property. 

This appeared to be the fate awaiting a unique but ageing ornamental cherry tree on the corner of Anchor Way and Front Street. There were fruiting fungal bodies indicating decay in the stem and large stress cracks in the crown caused by the heavy burden of large meandering limbs.  It was unlikely that this tree would make it through another season and the order was made to have it removed.

Normally this would have been the correct protocol; however it seemed in this case that the loss of this tree in city landscape would be an unfortunate loss indeed. Any replacement tree would fall well short of providing the character of its predecessor. This is why we decided to save it!

There are many ways to provide structural support for trees of significant value in order to extend their life in the landscape. In all cases they must be custom tailored to the needs of the particular tree. This is what we did to extend the life of this one of a kind specimen.

The tree was extensively pruned, all dead wood was removed and some of the weight burden on each limb was lessened. The limbs needing support were determined, and city carpenter Ed Trembley custom built five beautiful cedar crutches. The trees limbs were jacked up and the crutches were cemented into place in order to handle the weight burden.

The result is an attractive addition to the garden which will hopefully extend the life of this great tree for years to come.

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