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perpetualjon 02-21-2009 02:17 PM

Any arborists out there? Can you help me with the care of this tree? [pics]
Ok, I've got a fruitless mulberry tree in my front yard. From what I've already been told, the roots are quite up on the surface and there's really not a whole lot I can do about that. I've also got a few significant branches that are nearly horizontal on the tree and I'm concerned that they may be stressing the structure of the tree too much. I've watched enough of "Ask This Old House" to know that I may just need for an arborists to come and check out the tree but maybe a simple visual look at these pics from an experienced eye can at least get me started on if I need to take immediate action or not. I'm already looking into trimming some branches that are too close to the house (some are already touching) but I know now that just cutting off the close branches isn't always the best idea. So, here's some pics...

As you can see, my front lawn is split in two halves by the front walkway (which I hate BTW). We're thinking of some sort of landscaping on the side opposite the tree and then enclosing the tree with a raised flowerbed or something. Any thoughts would be awesome...

Bob Mariani 02-21-2009 02:44 PM

1 Attachment(s)
To improve your curb appeal.

downunder 02-21-2009 07:17 PM

What specifically are you asking?

Are the roots causing a problem?

I don't see anything "stressing" from the branches. You really want a tree to have a wide crotch angle instead of shallow like Bradford pear.

I can understand that you might want to take it away from the house for a couple of reasons. Is that what you are asking? You are right in not "just cutting off the close branches." They need to be pruned properly.

From the photo I don't see any dead branches/limbs.

All I really see is that the tree could use a good cleaning up. From the size of it though, you need to get an arborist to do it unless you have the equipment to climb up in there or access to a bucket truck and experience there.

Maybe I'm just missing what you're asking.

JCAHILL4 02-21-2009 10:16 PM

I can see what your saying and I think you already know the answer to the question your asking. It does look to me that it needs trimmed up quite a bit. You want lots of light to penetrate deep into the center of the tree. Some of those lower branches to appear to be putting stress on the trunk and could probably go. But having an arborist out to have a hands on approch is your best bet.

perpetualjon 02-22-2009 12:25 AM

Yeah, I think you're all totally right. I just need to get a good arborist out and have at it. Thanks everyone for your input!! At least I've got some confirmation that I'm thinking correctly.

rjordan392 02-22-2009 07:10 AM

is right. The tree needs light. A lot of those horizontal branch's need to be cut down. But you need someone who knows trees to determine how much to cut. Your observations are correct, those branch's add stress to the trunk.

downunder 02-24-2009 07:15 PM

Could someone explain this stress on the trunk thing to me?

JCAHILL4 02-24-2009 08:19 PM


Originally Posted by downunder (Post 236182)
Could someone explain this stress on the trunk thing to me?

Imagine holding your arms up in the "YMCA" symbol... now imagine holding them straight out. Gravity is just working harder on the limbs that are 90 degrees from the trunk.

downunder 02-27-2009 05:51 PM

Now here is what you might call "stress" on a tree:

Thomasville, GA : Oak Tree

A tree does not have stress on it just because the limbs are growing out at a 90 degree angle from the trunk as its genetics tell it to. Sorry to hurt anyone's feelings but that is just plain wrong. I have seen this tree personally and the photo does not do it justice. The city actually has supports under some of the limbs, but then they are about 100 feet long and this tree is a couple of hundred years old. When I am that old, in tree or people years, I will probably need help holding my arms up like YMCA. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's original question.

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