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Taupotreeman

Large Oak reduction help

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We have a slight dilemma with this large protected Oak on council land and I need some help with options. The tree has been braced (Cobra) a few years ago but the bracing has now pulled tight. We considered re-bracing but on second thought figured that judging by the state of the base of the tree the new bracing would only pull tight as soon as the old was released. There are several substantial chunks of decayed wood and stems throughout the canopy. There are also signs of the stems starting to crack and peel away at the base. Not major but some signs all the same. To add insult to injury, some drongos doing a fibre optic upgrade broke through a water main and then took to the roots of the tree while attempting to find the broken main. Question is; do we just remove the deadwood and leave the tree to its own devices? Do we carry out a reduction to reduce the weight in the limbs and try and encourage new growth? This is a high foot traffic area so we need to have some sort of solution and one of our councillors is very against doing anything at all so we need to have good reasoning behind what we do.

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Correct Tony. Some of the rotten limbs,although live at the tips, are on the point of failure and need to be removed. Problem is there's nowhere to actually cut back to as there is no internal canopy. Some of the branches that need to come off are 12 inches and over

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could possibly re-brace with cobra, and weight reduce main limbs, not necessarily reducing ends of branches back, but could thin canopy slightly to reduce weight and also minimise the amount of leaverage that wind creates. Also it dependent on the amount of decay that is present, the limbs may still be sound. Would be a shame to loose the tree all together. Like tony says, species doesn't like heavy pruning, but with the climate in taupo the tree may possibly cope with a full crown reduction perhaps 25%. Just my thoughts going off the photos :)

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To be honest Ian, I think that tree is kinda poked. I'd try and replant from the same stock and accept the loss. I'll chase up that ground inoculation solution- its called maltaflor.never know, it may help. And mulch to the drip line- but then again some of the limbs are very buggered. Ah god, I don't know.....

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I hear ya Drew and we know it's poked but unfortunately one councillor and much of the council hierarchy know better and won't entertain the idea of removal until someone gets nailed. Mulching is to be done pretty soon by mase and I. Pity we didn't get to it before Stages cat tracked it all. You know the state of some of those limbs so you'd understand the tricky situation.

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It would be a shame to loose such a nice tree, guess it depends on how much you want to retain the tree and how much you want to spend on it.

 

Could you replace the cobra with a static system, dead wood and place a dynamic system higher up?

 

The fact that the roots have been damaged won't help. Part of me thinks remove and replant.......

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Those are some long levers there, Crown reduction and re brace. Re inspect bracing in 12months or after an event. As for the amount of reduction without seeing the tree I cant specify.

 

Or take out the existing bracing ,close of the area and let nature do its thing and give a home to some more bugs etc.

 

As for the councillor send him/her some press clippings of fatal tree failures, a vote looser this they WILL understand

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Suggesting an alternative approach if I may, i.e. bottom up...instead of top down, and in practice maybe 'BoB' (a bit of both.)

 

Let us not forget that crown decline, aside from any significant H&S issues which must be dealt with, is usually associated with poor rooting environment so maybe decompaction and/or mulching is the way forward.

 

We need to reconsider our position in recommending stuff base purely on crown assessments, and more particularly when our only prescription is to work said crown...afterall, and again aside from essential safety works, remember "pruning is damage" (and of course it removes the very importnat green bits)..who did say that?

 

Thanks all..

Paul

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