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RichSutherland

Beech Tree - Doesn't look good

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35 minutes ago, agg221 said:

A couple of observations which I hope the other contributors to this thread will agree with.

 

If a tree is not likely to fail from the base (in a way which presents an unacceptable risk if it did which I would think is likely to be the case here) then it does not -need- to be removed. Everything beyond that is a balance of cost and likely outcome. Different people will view this in different ways, depending on how much the tree is worth to them. For some people, it would not be worth the cost and effort of trying the techniques Chris has suggested when weighed against the probability of success. A lot of tree work is driven to a budget and the likely outcome from just cutting back a beech is not going to be positive, so for them the most cost-effective approach would be to take it out. However, that does not take into account the value of a particular tree to a particular individual, so to you it  may well be worth enough to make the investment.

 

If on balance after a proper inspection you conclude it is preferable to remove it, you would have options for replanting. You cannot replace a tree of that size in a short timeframe, but you could invest in a large, heavy standard (not the kind of thing you buy at the garden centre) and with proper aftercare it would make a reasonable statement within a few years. This would also give you the choice of some specific varieties. Personally, I always think copper beech looks gloomy and I really like the appearance of the fern-leaved beech (Asplenifolia) and quite like Fagus engleriana but that's my opinion - yours will no doubt differ. The point is that there would be choices that you could make if you find yourself in that unfortunate position.

 

Alec

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much - we would invest money to save the tree if it stands a good/realistic chance. If it doesn't stand a chance then we would definitely be looking at planting a new mature tree. I would very much be coming back to this forum for advice in such a case as so far the information/discussion has been invaluable! 

 

My understanding is this variety of tree is very slow growing so we'd certainly be looking for a variety that we can buy in as large a size as possible and which will, as you say, make an impact as soon as possible. 

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You can buy pretty large beech trees. Google ‘standards’. They will however cost you a small fortune and require a lot of maintenance in the first few years to establish, if they do at all. Whereas a smaller tree will establish much more quickly, require less maintenance, and in some cases even reach the height of a standard in the time it takes a standard to establish itself.

 

ever seen big trees planted at the likes of a Tesco new build that have died a few years later?

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4 minutes ago, Steve Bullman said:

 

 

ever seen big trees planted at the likes of a Tesco new build that have died a few years later?

Google - Asda store in Cannock and have a look at the London Planes on the car park.  They installed them into linear planting bays all joined up so they have good rooting environment.  They are good sized trees now and about 20 years old. This isn’t the norm though. 
 

I do planning consultations regularly and they always want to put trees into the smallest pits possible. That is the main problem with supermarket planting schemes. Not the tree sizes. That said, I always recommend 10-12s for planting as they establish quicker and catch up over time. 
 

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41 minutes ago, Mick Dempsey said:

I feel people are ignoring @Cobbs tree&estate service posts.


He saw the damage being done to the tree in the house build, sees the tree regularly and has noticed the decline in leaf cover and dead wood in it.

 

 

Not ignoring him Mick.  But in report writing terms it’s called an assumed fact.  It’s isn’t something others should comment on with complete authority.  It should be separated out. He may well be right though. But, I don’t think you can make a proper diagnosis by driving past it in a van. Particularly as the house was built 16 years ago, and the drive at least 10. Again, assumed facts. 
 

i would only advise based on a full inspection. My original advice to the OP was to get a report.  It still is and for all of the trees, not just that one.   I would be looking for a financial contribution from the seller for any required works before exchanging contracts. 
 

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If it were me and I wasn’t involved in arb I’d be getting an appropriate arb report completed by a suitably qualified and experienced person. Most tree surgeons as others have said make their money from climbing trees as opposed to report writing and consultancy. You do however get some who can and do both but there can sometimes be a conflict of interest there.

I don’t know Jerry Ross who somebody has recommended but believe he is well regarded within the industry or alternatively you could look at the AA registered consultants link below

WWW.TREES.ORG.UK

A directory of registered tree consultants who offer services such as reports, they have expertise in the care and management of trees


The onset of spring will be a good time to assess the tree and it’s future and as I’ve said I’d definitely do that before going to far with the purchase so you have an informed choice.

If you did have the report completed maybe speak with @cobbs tree&estate service and they could help with the works (if required)

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1 hour ago, Chris at eden said:

Yes I agree. But the chap wants to try to save it.  It’s impossible to say how likely it is that it can be saved without seeing it.  it could have Kretz or Merip in which case it’s doomed. Or it could be compaction related which could possibly be fixed. Canopy looks pretty naf in the pic though. 
 

I did a research project on plant health care in the UK back in 2014 for my L6 dip. It’s a huge industry in the US but it’s rare in the UK. It’s picked up a bit since but not much. The number of times I have seen crown reduction recommended for compaction issues where there is no risk is ridiculous.  For risk management fair enough but it won’t fix the underlying issue. 

 

 

Agree Chris (and likewise with your reply to Mick).

 

I am even less qualified to diagnose/suggest prognosis, which is why I have avoided doing so. That's also why I didn't comment on @Cobbs tree&estate service post - I wasn't ignoring him but he knows the tree and I don't so I couldn't really add anything. The key thing is that a proper survey will establish what the issues are, what the prognosis is and what the options are going forward. There are many circumstances where the owner just doesn't want the tree - this one is the opposite so it perhaps presents more positive alternatives than normal.

 

Steve - as you say, standards are not cheap, but at least with a single tree that is really wanted it will definitely get the aftercare needed to give it the best possible start, and would not have to suffer a minimum planting pit. Again, size/type is something to weigh up should it become necessary and there is plenty of knowledge to draw on in selection, planting and aftercare on this forum.

 

Alec

 

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2 hours ago, Chris at eden said:

assumed fact.

That’s an interesting point Chris. 
 

Are you saying local knowledge should be separated out of a set of observations / recommendations?

 

Whats the difference between an assumed fact and a discussion with a tree owner which seeks to establish local influences which may have effected observable implications?

 

Ive always sought to try and understand what may have happened in the vicinity of a tree through interrogation of any source of local knowledge that might be available. 
 

I might see that a new drive is ‘probably’ X years old, but the landowner can tell me it’s Y. 
 

Is that what you’d define as an assumed fact - and sideline it?

 

That seems absurd to me. 

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35 minutes ago, kevinjohnsonmbe said:

That’s an interesting point Chris. 
 

Are you saying local knowledge should be separated out of a set of observations / recommendations?

 

Whats the difference between an assumed fact and a discussion with a tree owner which seeks to establish local influences which may have effected observable implications?

 

Ive always sought to try and understand what may have happened in the vicinity of a tree through interrogation of any source of local knowledge that might be available. 
 

I might see that a new drive is ‘probably’ X years old, but the landowner can tell me it’s Y. 
 

Is that what you’d define as an assumed fact - and sideline it?

 

That seems absurd to me. 

Sorry - maybe more specifically to my case, I know the drive was at least there in 2011 in its current form from Google maps which says when the images were taken at the bottom. At least in this case it is definitely at least 10 years old but probably older. 

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42 minutes ago, kevinjohnsonmbe said:

That’s an interesting point Chris. 
 

Are you saying local knowledge should be separated out of a set of observations / recommendations?

 

Whats the difference between an assumed fact and a discussion with a tree owner which seeks to establish local influences which may have effected observable implications?

 

Ive always sought to try and understand what may have happened in the vicinity of a tree through interrogation of any source of local knowledge that might be available. 
 

I might see that a new drive is ‘probably’ X years old, but the landowner can tell me it’s Y. 
 

Is that what you’d define as an assumed fact - and sideline it?

 

That seems absurd to me. 

You don’t side line assumed facts but you do separate them from facts.  Facts are something you observe yourself.  Assumed fact are something others tell you. So, you can state the condition of the tree as a fact.  But if someone tells you they have seen it declining for years, that is an assumed fact. If they tell you it fell on Tuesday night, that is assumed.  If you see it fall then that is a fact.  
 

i was doing the expert witness training with Bond Solon before COVID kicked in and it’s from that. They say all reports have the potential to end up in court so make them court compliant.  If you make a statement as if it’s something you know for sure and it ends up being something the neighbour told you, the barrister will love it.  They will hammer you for misrepresenting yourself and question your competence at which point it’s game over. 
 

facts, assumed facts, and opinions are all different things. 
 

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