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David Humphries

Managing Trees with Decay & Dysfunction

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I would never have considered that old rooting material could be the reason for the presence of Merip at the base of a beech. guess that's the advantage of having an air spade to hand to investigate.

i'm sure most times Merip is found at the base of a tree the worst is feared.......


Howdee Nick


Do you not remember that copper beech at Golders?


It was pretty much the same, with little decay. We only reduced it as the neighbouring tree had gone over in a big storm and opened the canopy to increased wind load.


Of course it has to be said that there are many occasions where trees with Merip become unstable and will require 'massive reductions' or removal.


I guess the site/tree history and growing environment is key.




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Awesome, I'd love to get into this, thanks for posting



You're welcome Fred.



.........i assume given the low target you're not gonna worry too much about this one (is this on the west heath)?


It's at the area known as the beeches near to Hampstead gate.


You'll probably recall that the canopy is pretty closed around these trees so it gets lots of protection against wind load.


We'll add it to 'keep an eye on it' list



The soil is full of mycorrhyza with plenty of Tree species specific Russulas (and others no doubt) which makes for a very healthy growing environment and is probably why (as well as little compaction) that these trees have good vitality and regenerative capacity.






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Nice work, assisting the associates, ?s:


Were the conks intact? I'm still only 93.8% sure of the Merip ID on the white oak in the other thread. I'm used to seeing it more 'fan'shaped' per Schwarze.


" that there was very little (almost no) decay in the lateral structural roots which suggests the presence of the Merip is perhaps more to do with the recycling of the older unneeded root system under the trunk."


Exactly what Schwarze said, though this not meshing well with his research showing that Merip preferentially degrades sapwood more than heartwood.


Closed canopies are good!

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A turkey oak with a significant long term colinisation of Ganoderma resinaceum

It has absolutely no basal heart wood, but lots of vitality.


First shot was taken before the first crude non BS: 3998 topping in 2003.


Subsequent images are from a revisit in 2007 involving foliage and 1st order branch volume removal and the last images are from today.


The tree will be receiving a further reduction, working it down toward a pollard.










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An oak monolith that was in need of a bit of reduction in weight & height to help keep it standing for a while longer.


Aware of the potential for bat habitat, it was the roar of the 660 that made the top cavities sole resident Pipistrelle flitter off to a new abode.












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Left at the base of the tree Guy.


We were discussing yesterday if (that as this tree was dead and wouldn't need it any more) it would possibly be a good idea to transport it to another live tree to absorb during the breakdown process.





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Mostly destroyed on impact with the ground, which was unavoidable this time, mostly due to what equipment we had available at the time and other commitments.





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Following on from a post in today's job thred here is two further trees in the same parkland for you to muse over David.

Nice hollow sycamore that house jackdaws and packed with sticks, lost is top last year but is quite shelter inbetween to others so will stop and the ash I believe has shaggy bracket, without book can't spell proper name. Lost a big limb about a year ago and fruity body's appear round this wound so going to heavily reduce just the hight to drop it below the hight of the woodland edge about 30m away so hopefully shelter it a bit

Viable plan?






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