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Thesnarlingbadger

Carving a live oak steam in decline

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We have recently taken down a large dead Oak for a client which to put lightly was knackered. Snapping rigging points and only anchoring in to bits as thick as my thighs. Now the Tree has base rot and is covered in slime flux (the hornets bloody love it). We have taken it down to a monolith at 4m so it is clear of falling distance from the house and the main stem is perfect (no signs of rot just clean wood).

 

My client is considering having the live steam carved as she was fairly upset it had to come down. I’m just wondering if it’s worth the hassle or if it’s just going to be money for old rope.

 

We are going back to fell an Ash tree with secondary stage dieback at the end of July so I’ve said we will take the steam down then for her if she is not going to carve it. It would be a really shame as there is no way of getting the stem out in a length as it’s got to go round the side of the house and up a flight of steps so without a crane it has to be cut up and used for fire wood. Even milling on sight would be more than just a slog.

 

Any ideas what life expectancy it may have? We have probably removed 2-3 tonne of weight and the remaining stem is probably about a tonne give or take.

 

No pictures unfortunately as when we did The job is was belting it down with rain and I just wanted to get the bloody thing down.

 

Thanks in advance people.

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Any idea what the cause of decay is? Once you know what fungi it is you can start to hazard a guess at the trees potential longevity. 

 

4m isn't particularly high if the stem is plumb - not much leverage on a good diameter stem. No good carving though if the fungus is decaying the heartwood though, in time the carving will start to deteriorate from the ground up.

 

You've loads of things to consider so I'd be involving the carver and the client as early as possible. You never know, the client may spend the money for a carving with a less than usual life expectancy.

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It’s in South Glos.

Thanks for this. I’m not interlay sure what has killed the tree off but the dead crown resembled advanced stages of sudden Oak death. As I said once we got down to the main steam the wood seamed sound and there is no heart rot at all. On the arb report it literally said Oak in decline, dieback in crown and rot at base. No more in depth than that.

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It’s in South Glos.

Thanks for this. I’m not interlay sure what has killed the tree off but the dead crown resembled advanced stages of sudden Oak death. As I said once we got down to the main steam the wood seamed sound and there is no heart rot at all. On the arb report it literally said Oak in decline, dieback in crown and rot at base. No more in depth than that.
I can't offer any knowledge regarding the decline of the tree, but if your client still wants to pursue a carving project I'd be happy to discuss further with them/you.
My contact details and social media links can be accessed here
www.wisewood.org.uk
Cheers, Si

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