Removal of a 100 Year Old Red Oak
March 15, 2013
As our company name indicates, our first goal with any tree is to preserve it by improving its overall health and vigor. But sometimes, we simply have to remove a tree for the safety of all involved. Trees are living things; they live and then they eventually die. They are not permanent fixtures. So while a 100-year-old red oak may be historic, it may also be in serious decline. This was the case with a tree we recently had to take down in the Swiss Avenue Historic District.
Concerned about its condition, the homeowner called us out to inspect their red oak. Once imposing and beautiful, this grand specimen had succumbed to both age and a number of environmental factors working against it. Some of these factors included heavy pruning to provide clearance from utility lines, damage from a previous house fire, severe drought damage over the past several years, sun scald and hypoxylon canker. Hypoxylon canker is a fungus that causes cankers and death of oak and other hardwood trees. Relatively healthy trees are not invaded by the fungus but the hypoxylon fungus will readily infect the sapwood of a tree that has been damaged, stressed or weakened.
The tree became a major safety hazard for the neighborhood due to its weakened and decayed condition. Trees in this condition can not only be deadly but are a liability to the property owner, as well. We recommended that the tree be removed. The homeowner received a permit from the city and the historic district to have the tree properly and safely removed. This was a very tricky removal because we were not allowed by Oncor to have the electricity in the nearby utility lines turned off; thus, we were not allowed to use a crane. Our skilled crew had to climb the tree and remove the canopy first, piece by piece.
Then, we had to safely take down the massive trunk. Here you can see the many rings inside the tree. We counted at least 95 but because the center of the tree was soft with decay, we weren't able to precisely count the remainder of the rings. We estimated the tree to be approximately 100 years old.
As you can see, this is serious and risky work that should be undertaken only by trained and certified professionals. The company you select must be bonded, licensed and insured so you, as the homeowner, do not accept liability. Never let a company do such work on your property if they are not properly covered. Human safety and property safety must be taken into account and planned for.
While it may be easy to get upset at a neighbor when they remove a very large or historical tree, there could be a very good reason for doing so. Such was the case with this red oak. Disease, decay and large hazardous branches may not always be obvious to a homeowner or passerby. If you have large trees that overhang sidewalks, your home or neighbors’ homes, you should plan on having your trees inspected by a certified arborist to check for such problems. Some issues can be corrected if they are caught in the early stages of development.
If you are concerned about the health of your trees, or you need a tree removed, please give us a call. Don't wait! If we can get your tree back to good health, we will. If not, we'll safely remove it and then can plant new trees for you. Drop us a line at email@example.com or call 214.528.2266 in the Dallas area and 817.581.4502 in the Ft. Worth area.