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ccpyue 10-09-2013 02:33 PM

Bending tree
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I've an evergreen tree in yard. After last year's snow storm, the top part (app 3 ft from top) bent (see photo). I afraid this year's snow will further bend and/or crack the tree, so I would like to cut the top 3 ft away. If I did this, will the tree continue to grow, or it will die?

Need some experienced gardeners to tell me what shall I do with it to protect it and keep it alive.

Thank you in advance.

bud16415 10-10-2013 05:58 AM

It won’t kill the tree removing the top, but it will force the tree to make a new top and sometimes several. They always grow funny after topping and I personally don’t care for the look of a topped tree.

It looks as the two trees are a little bit too close together. It’s very hard to look at a little seedling and see them that large 20 years later so most times they get planted to close. As they grow together they will both form dead spots inside where they overlap. That’s when you see people trimming off the lower limbs making trunks. Sometimes as hard as it is to do you have to remove one here and there.

That tree looks really top heavy and like it has a lot of pine cones and with a heavy snow load I can see why you are worried. An arborist with a bucket truck might have suggestions on trimming and thinning the top to straighten it back up for winter. That option is never cheep.

I had a beautiful huge magnolia tree that split under snow loads about 30 years ago I was sick to see half the tree falling away. I went out and rigged a cable and a winch and pulled the tree back together and then took an 18 inch long drill and drilled thru the tree and put an all thread rod thru the tree and nuts and washers to clamp it back in place. Its 30 years later and totally healed over in fact there is no sign there is a rod in there anymore. Will be quite a surprise if after me someone takes a chain saw to it.

edlank 04-30-2014 08:14 PM

Bud, I would have thought removal of the rod after a few years would have been wise. If it were mine, I would be concerned that it would be my chain saw that found the rod if it cannot be found.

slownsteady 04-30-2014 09:29 PM

Sometimes a pine tree will droop, but given some time, it may recover. Given all spring & summer to recuperate, it may be ready for the next winter.
Was there any damage to the roots? I would watch it for signs of a bigger problem, before doing any cutting. You have until the fall to make a decision.

mudmixer 04-30-2014 09:58 PM

I have several pines and a large ash that are fighting for space and sun.

I just had the ash (40') trimmed back and opened up and the 2 firs (pine and spruce) cleaned up to give everything a chance. After a average or slightly worse winter, it is obvious that the 3rd ugly pine will have to go to make room for the future, because I do not want to scrap everything and start all over again. If you give trees room to grow, they respond well.

The 2 trees in the photo should really have been just one with a good, healthy form but if the bad one was removed it will be much better and more valuable in the future.


bud16415 05-01-2014 05:05 AM


Originally Posted by edlank (Post 104281)
Bud, I would have thought removal of the rod after a few years would have been wise. If it were mine, I would be concerned that it would be my chain saw that found the rod if it cannot be found.

After a few years taking the rod out I think the split wouldn’t have been strong enough to not fall apart again. By the time it had healed enough maybe 10 years everything was buried in the wood and would have made a lot of new damage getting it out.

Around here anyone cutting a tree down near a road or on a property close to a house is on the lookout for stuff hidden in the wood. Just a chance you take of dulling your chain teeth.

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