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Splitting up

We typically think of Oaks as strong, massive trees with long life, but there are exceptions. I came across this attention-grabber Saturday...

white-oak-split.jpg

This Oak is situated in the front yard of a house along a busy two-lane road. From the looks of the lower trunk, it had a similar trauma around the turn of the century when another large area of the trunk split-out, leaving a gaping wound outlined with yellow dots below. The first trauma probably helped set-up this Oak for the second more recent split.

white-oak-cavity.jpg

While this Oak was a likely candidate for removal after the first major split, it is definitely what arborists call a "widow maker" now. Chances are these two large sections of the Oak's main trunk were "V-crotches" -- typical weak spots in trees that fail in snow storms or high winds.

Some trees tend to form them naturally, so in special situations close to homes they are sometimes "cabled" to add support. Splitting is much more common on fast-growing trees since they have weaker wood, so I dug into the archives for some examples...

Serviceberry tree split by ice and snow storm.

Serviceberry tree split by ice and snow storm.

Fast growing Pears are the most common victims.

Fast growing Pears are the most common victims.

Ouch! This was the centerpiece in the front yard.

Ouch! This was the centerpiece in the front yard.

Here's hoping you aren't subject to any split-ups.

Bob

Final week to seed

Weatherman using F-word already