Storm Damaged Norway Maple – Plymouth, MI

High winds and heavy rain blew through Plymouth, MI in early June 2010.  The Norway maple, shown below, was heavily damaged during the storm.  Most of the upper crown was broken apart and hung up in a twisted mess.  Below, another large limb tore off and created a large wound in the trunk.

The homeowners wanted to know if the tree could be saved.  It had provided the patio and back of the house with ample shade for many years.  I advised them to remove the tree for the following reasons.

There was a large wound in the trunk where a lower limb had torn out.  When the limb broke it pulled out of the trunk creating a cavity.  Over time the exposed heartwood will rot and weaken the tree creating a hazard.

Just removing the broken limbs would leave the tree lop sided and unsightly.  Some of our competition might offer to “shape or top” the tree in this situation.  I advised against this due to the long term affects of topping.  A topped tree will either die or shoot out sprouts around the topping cuts.  Around each cut multiple sprouts will grow. Over time the sprouts get bigger and the wound where the topping cut was made gets weaker, creating a hazard. Eventually, one or more of the sprouts will break off.  You end up paying to remove a tree that you already payed to top.  For a more in-depth explanation on why not to top your trees, click here

Below are a series of pictures highlighting the removal process, click a thumbnail to view a slideshow.


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