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Old 09-06-2011, 11:42 AM   #1
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Silver Maple Help Needed


I purchased my home in December of last year and it has, to my best guess, a 50+ year old Silver Maple in the back yard.

Years ago there were two huge limbs (8"+) removed from the tree due to them hanging over the house or the garage. During a party I had a few months ago, a friend pointed out that I had a rather large carpenter ant infestation. I have tried to dig out the dead wood from where the limbs were cut to limit what the ants are after and I have also tried to get rid of them with soapy water, granulated pesticides, and the small traps with pesticide inside.

Now, before everyone just says cut the tree down or something like that, I don't want to for two reasons: I cannot afford to remove this tree because it has a 3' diameter trunk, is approximately 70' tall, and has a canopy about 50' in diameter. Second, it is a beautiful tree and I just do not want to get rid of it.

If anyone has had experience with this type of problem and has had success killing the ants, please share with me. Winter will quickly be approaching here so I don't have a lot of time. I have read about filling the holes with concrete, so if I can remove the ants, I think that would be a good idea.

Thanks!

Graham

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Old 09-06-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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Hey Graham -

I'm a Maple Tree lover. In fact, I've recently planted about 15 of them on my property - most of them being Autumn Blaze Maples.

That said, the ONE thing I don't like about Maples is that, at a certain age, they almost always begin to rot from the inside out. Then, during a windstorm, the entire tree will just blow over & reveal that 3/4 of the trunk was hollow.

My best advice would be to have somebody check to see if your trunk is hollow, though I do not know who can do that. If the trunk is solid, you can probably get a pest company to treat for the carpenter ants. If the trunk is hollow, well...


Good luck!

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Old 09-06-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
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Silver Maple Help Needed


Dr. Hicks,

We have had some nasty storms this summer with sustained winds at 50mph+ and wind gusts over 80mph and absolutely zero tree damage. I would guess that the tree has some sort of rigidity left in it, but being that it is in my backyard it is probably shielded by some of the other trees along the same size and age and the houses behind me.

I know one of the holes that I dug out is at least 2' deep, and the other one is probably around the same.

Should this thing be hollow, I am probably just going to have to ride it out and if/when it were to unfortunately fall on my house or garage, at least the insurance would allow me to do some remodeling that I want to do anyhow.

Thank you for your reply!
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:34 PM   #4
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Not totally specific to your issue, but I have been using Bayer Tree and Shrub concentrate in the spring on my trees, it is a root feed that then internally protects the tree for up to twelve months...they have it as Lowes, Walmart, etc. Perhaps this would help on a maintenance basis once you get rid of the main infestation.

I'm with you in terms of trying to keep that tree as long as possible...maybe it's worth springing for a Tree Specialist?? Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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Call an aborist ( Bartlett Tree Experts) or sombody like that. They will come and tell you all you need to know at no charge, at least when I was doing it there was no cost.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:02 PM   #6
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Call an aborist ( Bartlett Tree Experts) or sombody like that. They will come and tell you all you need to know at no charge, at least when I was doing it there was no cost.

Please,Get a pro to look at that tree.

They can be killers when they collapse.

The Forestry Forum - Index

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
Call an aborist ( Bartlett Tree Experts) or sombody like that. They will come and tell you all you need to know at no charge, at least when I was doing it there was no cost.
I was super happy with the certified arborist Bartlett sent out to do an estimate for us on tree removal. Pleased enough to send a letter to the guys manager. They ended up being too expensive, but since they were so nice I have used them for other things.

Hire someone who is licensed, carries current liability insurance, and preferably workers comp. Do not hire some guy with a chainsaw and a truck. Don't let anyone touch anything on your property without verifying their credentials.

You can save some money by waiting on chipping the stump and by keeping the wood.

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:11 AM   #8
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They ended up being too expensive, but since they were so nice I have used them for other things.

Yes, we were well known as being the most expensive, but as in painting, I tend to use the BEST brand( not the dreaded Behr). You get what you pay for.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
They ended up being too expensive, but since they were so nice I have used them for other things.

Yes, we were well known as being the most expensive, but as in painting, I tend to use the BEST brand( not the dreaded Behr). You get what you pay for.
Not always. In fact, as often as not you DON'T get what you pay for.

And shouldn't your pathological obsession with Behr Paint be confined to threads where paint is being discussed?

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Old 09-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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If they will come out for free, I will call them. I do 95% of everything at my house because I am confident in my abilities and if I can't do it, I probably have a friend that can because that is the industry they are in. Due to the size and proximity of the tree to the house, garage, and power lines, I will not take a chance.

I am positive it will cost $2k+ to remove this tree so that's why I am, for lack of a better term, afraid to call anyone. I guess I have to be a grown-up and call someone about it before it costs me more than it would to take it down and cause damage to the house or garage. Although, if it fell on the garage I wouldn't be too heartbroken. Haha
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
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If they will come out for free, I will call them. I do 95% of everything at my house because I am confident in my abilities and if I can't do it, I probably have a friend that can because that is the industry they are in. Due to the size and proximity of the tree to the house, garage, and power lines, I will not take a chance.

I am positive it will cost $2k+ to remove this tree so that's why I am, for lack of a better term, afraid to call anyone. I guess I have to be a grown-up and call someone about it before it costs me more than it would to take it down and cause damage to the house or garage. Although, if it fell on the garage I wouldn't be too heartbroken. Haha
Start getting estimates, it will help with the fear. And you may get pleasantly surprised. I got over 10 estimates for removing a 75 foot Norway Spruce before I found someone to use. Five of them were disqualified due to no current liability insurance or no license. Two of them were guys that came and rang my door-bell - hey lady, you want me to cut that tree down for you? The other five ranged from 7500-1400.

- The 1400$ estimate was for a 'day' of work from a certified arborist with liability insurance and workers comp. So, he not only cut down the Norway Spruce but four other trees that needed removal. Not only was his service superior, but his price was unbeatable. The only draw back is that he is super busy (no surprise with that price) so I waited something like 6 weeks with a dead tree in my front yard. No big-whoop to me, but I'm sure the neighbors hated it.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:36 PM   #12
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I guess I will have to start doing that. The thing that is really bad about this situation is I was laid off a few weeks ago, so money is wicked tight for me right now. I guess if it lasted through the intense storms we had this year I should be ok for a little while longer. It will definitely be a shame if this thing has to go because it is such a beautiful tree.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:43 PM   #13
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I guess I will have to start doing that. The thing that is really bad about this situation is I was laid off a few weeks ago, so money is wicked tight for me right now. I guess if it lasted through the intense storms we had this year I should be ok for a little while longer. It will definitely be a shame if this thing has to go because it is such a beautiful tree.
It certainly would be a shame to see it have to be cut down. I love trees! But it would be even worse to have it come down on the house.

Who knows though. A qualified person may very well look at it and say he/she thinks you've got 10 more good years before it becomes a danger.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:12 PM   #14
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One thing to note about maple trees is that they have a very shallow root system, and maple is considered soft wood since it grows so fast. In urban areas, they are called car crushers because people try to grow these trees in a small plot on the sidewalk. Maple trees, with their helicopter maple seeds, need room, a lot of room.

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