Question for an Arborist - Signs of a sick tree?

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15 years 4 months ago - 15 years 4 months ago #132948 by Dean
Bark problems? What does this look like to you? It's unfortunate because this tree is one of my most fun trees to climb. After I saw this though, I don't think I should climb it anymore. The tree itself seems hearty and stout, but the bark came off real easy and I don't want to make a bad situation worse by climbing it again. But on a good note, this climb was the one that really broke me back in. I started getting the hang of climbing again :)







Last edit: 15 years 4 months ago by Dean.

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15 years 4 months ago - 15 years 4 months ago #132951 by moss
Dean wrote:

Bark problems? What does this look like to you?


From a bark point of view, without considering any other aspects of tree assessment, what you've got there is totally normal white oak bark. In the mid and upper crown of a white oak the bark can become extremely layered and flaky, it is normal and is not not a symptom of disease or distress. You'll notice when a hunk of the bark flakes off, there is still solid bark underneath. If you saw cambium underneath, green or pale inner bark, then there is a problem. If there is rotted trunk or limb under the flaking bark then there is a problem.

It's always obvious when you climb a white oak that has been climbed before, you can see the darker sometimes reddish-brown areas where the previous climber knocked bark off. The lifting bark plates on white oak make it one of the top throw line grabbers amongst hardwood species.
-moss
Last edit: 15 years 4 months ago by moss.

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15 years 4 months ago #132952 by Davej
Dean wrote:

Bark problems? What does this look like to you?


I can't see enough detail but Moss seems confident. You should obtain a friction saver. There are several types.

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15 years 4 months ago #132953 by Dean
Thanks Moss for responding. Ya, the tree seems to be in great condition besides what I thought to be a bark problem. I just don't remember the old tree we used to climb over on Arizona Ave (old TCI spot) looking like that.

On this climb I was using my hand saw to clean up some water sprouts and some other unsightly limbs (thinking I'm helping this tree) that I could safely remove and the wood looked very healthy to me. I didn't see any exposed wood anywhere so, based on what you're saying; it would seem I could climb this tree again without hurting it? What about if I climbed it 3 or 4 times a month? In other words I’m concerned that repeated climbs would end up doing damage to the bark since again this tree is the most fun technical climb I have in my yard.

Finally, the \"rotten\" discoloration (see pics) of the bark is not a problem? You wouldn't consider that to be \"pale\" discoloration?

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post Moss :)

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15 years 4 months ago #132954 by Dean
Dave, probably a good idea if I plan on climbing this tree often :)

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15 years 4 months ago - 15 years 4 months ago #132956 by moss
Dean wrote:

Thanks Moss for responding. Ya, the tree seems to be in great condition besides what I thought to be a bark problem. I just don't remember the old tree we used to climb over on Arizona Ave (old TCI spot) looking like that.


My impression from climbing Nimrod and Diana is that any loose bark had been knocked off long ago. This is not inner bark/cambium being damaged by ropes, this is surface bark in the middle, upper crown and branches that layers this way on an unclimbed white oak. Just foot or body contact with the tree will knock it loose.

Finally, the \"rotten\" discoloration (see pics) of the bark is not a problem? You wouldn't consider that to be \"pale\" discoloration?


Can't be diagnosed from the armchair (at least by me), if the wood underneath the bark is sound then there isn't a problem. Try taking a large screwdriver and probing the area that looks \"rotten\" to see if the wood is punky.

Also, can you verify that it is a white oak?

Using a cambium protection device would be nice to the tree and make your ropes last much longer.
-moss
Last edit: 15 years 4 months ago by moss.

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15 years 4 months ago - 15 years 4 months ago #132957 by moss
Double post removed, la dee da
Last edit: 15 years 4 months ago by moss.

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15 years 4 months ago #132958 by Dean
Moss you're great, I don't care what anyone says ;) Again thanks for your response.

I will do some further investigations using the screwdriver technique this weekend (a perfect excuse to climb it again).

Just by looking at the bark, I'm pretty sure it's a white oak. I have a nice mid sized red oak in my yard as well and its bark is distinctly different. Unfortunately I can't climb it as it is leaning in an unsafe manner as a result of an even larger red oak uprooting during a storm and falling into it (that's a story for anther thread). Only by looking at its bark though, I've surmised that it is a white oak. :huh: Why do you ask?

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15 years 4 months ago #132960 by moss
Dean wrote:

Just by looking at the bark, I'm pretty sure it's a white oak. I have a nice mid sized red oak in my yard as well and its bark is distinctly different. Unfortunately I can't climb it as it is leaning in an unsafe manner as a result of an even larger red oak uprooting during a storm and falling into it (that's a story for anther thread). Only by looking at its bark though, I've surmised that it is a white oak. :huh: Why do you ask?


Just wanted to verify the ID since I'm looking at a bark photo and you have the tree in your yard. I noticed that it's retaining some leaves, that would be a good way to verify as well. White oak has that classic round lobed leaf with fairly deep rounded cuts between lobes.
-moss

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15 years 4 months ago - 15 years 4 months ago #132961 by Dean
You know it's funny. This tree and the white oak next to it (in my neighbors yard) are the last to give up their leaves and the last to regrow leaves. Pretty much every other oak around the surrounding houses on my street stick to a slightly earlier schedule. I noticed this about 4 years ago and just like clockwork the leaves grow and fall out of sync with the rest of the trees. Not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that these two trees sit in a low spot between our two houses that retains water longer than anywhere else in the surrounding area. Rain water doesn't pool, it's just wet longer.



I'll leave you alone for now Moss, but thank you for your input :D
Last edit: 15 years 4 months ago by Dean.

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15 years 4 months ago #132962 by moss
That photo clinches the ID for me, classic white oak bark looking as normal as can be.
-moss

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15 years 4 months ago #132963 by Dean
hehe hehe B)

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