Hawthorn Tree Preservation – Bloomfield Hills, MI

This hawthorn tree sits in front of a house in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  I was called to inspect the tree in early 2013 because it had been damaged in an ice storm the previous winter.  The homeowner had called numerous other tree companies and was only receiving removal recommendations.  He did not want to remove the tree, but was not able to find anyone willing to work on preserving this tree.  Luckily his next call was to Arbor Man LLC.

Upon inspection, I found the center lead to be broken off at around ten feet high.  This is significant because a major portion of the trees canopy was lost, and this was also the best anchor for cabling.  Luckily this hawthorn is multi-stemmed, so there is plenty of crown left for the tree to thrive.  The next problem was the two main branches behind the broken center lead were split.  This split was pretty bad, however the tree had already shown signs of healing around the split.  I believe the reason the other tree guys condemned this tree was because of the lack of a good anchor point for cables.

With no anchor point for cables, I had to think a little outside of the box.  We would still install through bolts to support the split, but these alone would not be enough.  The answer was to install two props to support the limbs on both sides of the split.  Props are normally used on large, high value trees, because of this, props are normally larger and expensive to install.  Since this was a smaller tree, we rigged up our own version of mini props.  We ended up using 3/4″ threaded rod, a pad of pressure treated lumber, and cement.  The threaded rod is intentionally left a little long, sharpened to a point and then the tree limb set down onto the point.  The small point of contact limits the amount of damage done from the tree moving in the wind and is a far better option then a large strap.  The through bolts and props worked out great, and the homeowners should be able to enjoy this tree for many more years to come.  In the future, the tips of the split limbs will be pruned back to limit the amount of tip weight and to promote new growth back down the limbs.  The new more compact branch structure will make the tree more resilient in ice storms.

Below are pictures of the installation of the through bolts and props. Click a thumbnail to view a slide show.

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