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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:22 AM
Original message
I think my birch tree's dead
Edited on Sun May-22-05 05:40 AM by TrogL
It's May 20th and there isn't one bud on the tree. All there is some spindly growth that I think is leftover from last year. It's brittle and snaps right off.



It looks like some amateur pruned it and managed to kill off whole limbs.



All the green stuff up above in this picture...



is really from a different tree. Mine looks grey and dead.

Here's another totally dead branch



I chopped off one dead branch because it looked like it was gonna fall off and kill somebody. When I looked at the tree where the branch was, there's all sorts of black lines in the core of the tree.



All the stuff that I've cut down is totally dry. If you jump on any branch, even one 9 inches across, it immediately snaps. There isn't any indication of sap or greenness where I've cut branches off.

I'd like to just cut it down completely and plant a nice evergreen, but I'd hate to kill a living tree.

It's dead, right?
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's dead.
Cut it down.

But, wait until the most expensive car in the
neighborhood is parked nearby.

Your homeowner's insurance company will love you
forever.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. How about Aspens? They have the white bark and they are gorgeous
in the fall :)


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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Aspen roots are very invasive-
that beautiful stand of trees in your first picture are probably technically all part of the same tree/root system.

unless you have lots of room for them to spread out, and/or some very understanding neighbors, aspens are probably not the best bet.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I'm thinking spruce
or Lodgepole Pine
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Robeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Bummer....
Birch trees are so pretty. I had a Cherry tree that died almost instantly last year. Within a couple of weeks, it went from life to dead. When I sawed it down, it looked like the pictures you have shown, i.e. totally dried out.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Pitted Fruit Trees have a set life span.
Edited on Sun May-22-05 05:55 AM by Prag
They usually only last around 20 years... Then they're done.
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's dead, Jim
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. I hate to sound like Ash out of an Evil Dead movie, but...
get the chainsaw.
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Blue Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. Birch trees can be difficult
Looks like yours is ready for the chainsaw.
Look on the bright side, you get to pick out a new tree to plant in it's place! I'm sure there is a tree out there somewhere just looking for a new home in your yard.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
7. You are right - somebody pruned that tree very badly!
Either it's been dead for a while and other people chopped off branches to avoid having them fall on them, or somebody killed that birch tree with one of the worst pruning jobs I've ever seen!

Chop it down, cut it into firewood (birchwood smells wonderful) and put something beautiful in its place.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
8. Sounds like it's unaminous
OK, after church she's comin' down.

Could be interesting, given I don't own a chainsaw. Fortunately I do own a good bucksaw and I know how to use it.

My son's gonna be thrilled. He was doing some of the pruning of the higher dead branches and whacking the stuff that fell down.

I hate the tree on the other side of the lawn. It's some sort of weeping something-or-other and it's got problems as well. Somebody used heavy cable to try to keep one of the branches from breaking off and it's grown around it and the whole tree is lopsided and looks like it's about to go crashing into the neighbour's yard. If I take out the problem branch, there's not much left of the tree.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. I talked to the next door neighbour and he agrees
that the one branch (basically half the tree)is gonna have to go. It shouldn't look too bad.
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Atlas Mugged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
9. Birch trees have a short life span
Also, there's the Bronze Birch Borer, which wiped out millions of Birch trees in the northern US in the early 90's. I should know - I bought my home in the Winter of 1993. One of the most appealing things about it was all the Birch trees all over the property. In 1994 I had to get a chainsaw and cut down 30 of them. It made me sick and depressed for months. All thanks to the Bronze Birch Borer.

When Birch trees get to the end of their NATURAL life span the foliage becomes smaller and smaller by the year, until.......
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. that's terrible, they are such beautiful trees
I have one and love it.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. I think I may have that
There's all sorts of equally spaced holes on some of the branches. The wood underneath is all black and rotted.
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gardenista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
26. What Atlas said. nt
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
10. dead
they have pretty short life spans for a tree and are extremely succeptible to damage from drought.

Ours died last year.

:-(
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boilerbabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. The White Birch is my most favorite tree
And it seems to be the most vulnerable one, too. We had one in our backyard in Maine many years ago...there's not a lot of places where you can see them, have travelled the country....and there's not a lot of places where you can see them, even the spots I used to see white birches are pretty much gone. I really wish I could help you here, but I don't know what to do. If you find out where there is a nursery to get new ones, do let me know, even if i'm not sure if they will grow in Ct, would love to give it a try anyway, they are the most beautiful trees EVER and I would most certainly fill my yard with them if I could!!
XXXXOOOO
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:36 AM
Response to Original message
13. Down she comes - day one
Well the neighbours certainly got their day's entertaiment - me out in my Speedoes trying to bring down this tree without caving in my roof or taking out one of the neighbour's cars. They were all out in lawnchairs catcalling and yelling (incorrect) advice. Eventually they sent beer.

Little do they know I actually have some sort of clue.

Here's my ropes, wires and climbing harness.



Using the cable I tied off the branch to part of the fence so if it broke loose it wouldn't head for the house.



The task for the day was to take out the right and middle branches.



Any delusion that the tree was alive was put to rest when the branch came down. It exploded on impact.



I took out the middle branch to give me room to work on the big one. I've got it guyed off in three different directions so I know exactly where it'll land. I've got to miss the house, two fences and another tree. There's barely enough room to land it in the yard if I cut high enough.

Unfortunately the tree is leaning in the wrong direction. If I just cut it, it'll land on the neighbour's roof so I'm having to cut a wedge so it'll follow the path of least resistance and fall the other way. I'm probably gonna get lazy and pull it over with the van.





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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
16. My neighbor just had to remove an especially beautiful and big one
from her front yard. The inside of the trunk was hollowing it making it dangerous. It was a sad day because it was such a beautiful tree.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
17. It's raining
:cry:
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. It's all right. That's just God's tears for destroying his beautiful tree
I'm kidding, btw. Heh
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Rain's stopped - I'm back up the tree
Borrowed a neighbours extension ladder and I'm sawing off some top branches.

Gonna go tell the neighbour to move his car and warn him I'm dropping a tree on his house front yard.
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ohiosmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
18. It's not dead. It's pining!
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!
:spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank:
:spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank:
:spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank:
:spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank:
:spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank: :spank:
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-05 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
25. Might Be Birch Borers. They Bore Into Bark & Make "Galleries"
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Does it look like this?
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-05 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
27. A neighbour comes to the rescue
I managed to get one more small branch down in preparation for trying to get one of the main branches. I had cut it most of the way through and it snapped loose and was dangling and I couldn't get it to break free. Eventually, in desperation, I wrapped a cable around it and yanked it with the van.

Then it was time to try to bring down the larger branch. It supports about a quarter of the tree's branch structure. I had sawed about 3/4 of the way through when the wind came up and I started getting panicky so I got down. We tried breaking it loose with the van but the cable snapped. We tried a different cable and it snapped to. They we tried some rope. It slipped loose.

We decided to take a break and a neighbour wandered over to chat. I kept warning him to get away from the tree and eventually he interrupted me to say that he had a chainsaw and he went off to get it. He was able to cut the branch away and arrange it so I could lower it to the ground in the neighbour's yard.

He's coming back tomorrow afternoon to finish taking the tree down.

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