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Please could anyone help me with this tree? Firstly I'll clarify I don't know much about trees but love their beauty and would be gutted to see this one die. Think its an ash but not sure? It lies outside my house and as you'll see from the attached pictures, it's beginning to struggle. I think it might be or have been inhabited by a bird or squirrel. There are two openings in the bark, the larger one lower down has wood lice in it etc..the one higher up possibly a bird etc. It's started to struggle this year..not as many leaves on the damaged side. What it the best way to help it?






just to add, the bit of wood on the larger opening fell out last year and I just put it back...20190701_165815.thumb.jpg.1a28111196051f4880d9d9e3660c91e7.jpg



Edited by chris10000
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2 hours ago, chris10000 said:

Think its an ash but not sure?

Looks like a wild service tree, Sorbus torminalis, although the bark looks a bit smooth so may be one of the hybrids.

Edited by openspaceman
premature posting
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2 minutes ago, EdwardC said:

Hi Chris


Your tree is a Swedish whitebeam. From the pictures it looks in reasonable health for the age and species. The crown looks dense, the leaves are a good size and a nice green colour. Although you say the crown's a bit sparse on one side.


Some damage has occured on the trunk, and a higher branch. The tree is responding well to the damage, as can be seen by the growth around the edge of the wounds. Another indication the tree is in reasonable health.


The cavities are a structural weakness, and there are a couple more points of potential failure I can see. I would suggest you get an arboricultral consultant, not a tree surgeon or arborist, to take a close look at the tree to determine the extent of any structural weaknesses, and recommend any remedial works.


From what can be seen from the photos it doesn't look too bad. But the photos can't tell the whole story.

This .

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Thanks so much for such quick replies too! Not sure the photo highlights the extent of the damage. .the dark brown is all crumbly and there are a load of wood lice in there too. Would it be worth clearing out the pests and filling the hole with a filler and then coat the filler?

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No there's no fungus at all. Worried that the openings are causing the tree to age prematurely. .there aren't as many leaves as there have been in previous years particularly on that side of the tree. Have seen some posts about removing the parasites and then filling but wouldn't want to do more harm than good...thanks to everyone for all your help, great to learn what type of tree it actually is!! 


Chris 🙂



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Hi Edward


Once again thanks for such an informed response. It was recommended to me to clear it all out and then use a filler but I did worry that it would do more harm than good, hence joining this forum. I shall take your advice and leave it well alone and just hope I have more years to enjoy its beauty. 


Regarding having it inspected, I'll be honest, it is actually just on the street, 1 metre from my boundary. I'm incredibly loathed to contact the local council (Stockport) as they currently seem to have a policy of if in doubt, cut it down. They have cut down three healthy trees down alone in the past year on my street. And in the area, many trees have been felled rather than taking other action as it is much cheaper in the long-term, than say for example repairing pavements from winding tree routes, or constantly trimming limbs etc. With ever increasingly tighter budgets, these services have never been under such pressure. 


Thanks again for your advice



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