... I would do most anything to keep a healthy tree alive.Still feel that way.
Me too. I grew up on the high plains, there were pictures of trees in our school books if we wanted to see one.
I abstain on the voting, I was never an arborist for any years, but I don't think that tree is healthy. A 20 yr old tree shouldn't have a "root ball," the roots should sorta mirror the limbs, spreading out. Something kept those roots from spreading. they may even be circling the tree slowly choking it to death. that twisting branch isn't a good sign either. Staking new trees and forcing them into position with wires etc. just isn't done N E where much N E more, seems to do more harm than good.
Lots of questions about "The tree was healthy and was really growing for twenty years, then this year...." Most can be traced back to being planted too deeply in too smoothly sided hole back filled with amended soil, then over watered. tree top grows like crazy with roots in that watered soft rich soil, but roots don't spread just below surface seeking water& food and adding support. Years later nutrients in soil used up but roots cant get through hard sides and start curving.
Oh well that's my 2 cents worth. You folks got quite a bargain, that's like eleventy zillion words per penny. Sorry, no refunds, once i ramble i've rambled
Measure twice, cut once.
Look at the nail, not the hammer. Watch the fence, not the blade.
If you hook your thumb over your belt you won't hit it with the hammer or leave it layin on the saw table.