Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tree Help Cancels

Here's why I know the maple is coming down, one way or another.On the side to which it leans, a crack has appeared below where the two heaviest branches split off the main trunk, which is also split to the bottom. You can see the cracks if you look closely.
The lower branch is about to go, I fear, and when it does, it will destroy my fence, allowing any cat out there to escape or killing some.
The tree is cracked all the way to its base and in this photo, sap is draining out the bottom. Also a problem, the trunk at the base of the leaning side of the split, is only a quarter the width of the diameter of the tree at the base, meaning that side with the wieght of those branches, can be gone at any moment. It's a time bomb.

Tree is too big, was the reply, after I sent the Portland cat people photos, somebody might get hurt. Which is true.

So it's off. I told her that's fine and it's not their problem anyhow.

To cut off the big branches, not take the tree down, just cut the branches that are leaning off at the top of the cat wire, so that doesn't even have to come down, the cheapest local quote, my brother said, was $700. That's more than it cost to take down the entire damaged Cottonwood, which was massive. These branches, are no more than a few inches in diameter, the biggest maybe seven or eight inches. The problem is their length, and the off branching of many smaller branches too.

You can climb a Cottonwood with spiked boots and a strap. You can't climb a wobbly maple with no huge trunk to spike into. You have to use a cherry picker if the tree lies in a crowded compacted suburb. Therein lies the excessive cost. And the danger.

Those thin diameter branches, being maple, are still heavy. They're long and split easily if cut into from the wieght of leaves and off branches farther up and out. They can still take out a fence, or damage a roof, tear off gutters, destroy plants and yard adornments, with ease, when they fall, if not brought down safely and deftly.

I don't think this is a normal tree. The branches on both maples often split out, forming a V, where they split and grow out and on from the V. The V's gather debris, which rots, and also acts as a wedge, forcing the V apart and introducing stress and rot. These are not good trees.

They have offered delightful shade, but they are like inbred or something, doomed from birth, the way they grow.

It is frustrating to me, to have a bad neck, and be unable to stop the inevitable by working to take down some of the really heavy branches and to not have the hundreds upon hundreds of dollars these local tree companies charge for such work.

I've told my brother about it many times, including this morning, but I don't think he has the money either. I feel embarrassed to even suggest he do it, since I live here and should take care of this myself somehow.

I like this house but maintaining it is beyond my financial and physical capacity.

Maybe the tree won't fall at all. I hope I'm a really lousy judge of bad trees.

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