UKTC Archive

RE: Dead Oak Tree

Subject: RE: Dead Oak Tree
From: Tahir Sharif
Date: Jul 24 2020 07:17:46
There are 5 other oak trees along that stretch of stream (maybe over 
300mtrs), all overhanging the road and another whopper further down that's 
not so close to the road. I hear what you're saying, and I do want to do a 
sensible job in protecting the public, but as you've inferred seemingly (to 
my untrained eye) healthy trees have the potential to fail, partially or 
catastrophically. If I'm getting the gist of what you're saying all of these 
trees should be considered unsafe? In the village itself there are several 
huge beeches and oaks in public areas that have the potential kill and maim 
and indeed we have around 1.5 km of public footpaths running through our land 
that are heavily tree lined on at least one side.

Having followed UKTC for several years I'm aware of the ecological value of 
the standing deadwood and the fact that it could potentially stand safely for 
decades to come, likewise I understand the potential for summer branch drop 
and complete failure on seemingly healthy trees. I can't eliminate risk, all 
I can do is make a judgement call.

I think I'll trim and carry on monitoring.

-----Original Message-----
From: <> 
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson
Sent: 23 July 2020 21:22
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: Re: Dead Oak Tree

Nudge "tests" themselves can add to the sum of the forces acting upon the 
structure. *Theoretically*, they might have the effect of contributing to the 
buildup, in time, of still-living tissues placed under stress, possibly 
adding strength to the structure, but also could weaken it by rupturing dead 
and living parts. There is no way to *know* which, or to what degree the 
"test" might produce such effects. I suspect that the latter effect is more 
likely to occur than the former. Since there is no way to *measure* the 
effects upon the structure, it necessarily falls into the realm of guesswork 
and presumption.

Intuitively, because of the direction of lean, I suspect the risk is 
relatively low, but not non-existent. I share your concern about the dead 
part overhanging the fraction of the "kill zone" opposite the direction of 
the lean. I share the "hope" that whatever failures occur will cause no harm. 
I do not believe that every dead or declining tree should be cut down--in 
fact, when I was a U. S. Forest Service tree surveyor in my youth, I narrowly 
escaped death, from a "widow-maker" while working in windy conditions. I was 
aware of the risk, both in that instance and in general, of doing that work 
and accepted it--my family would have had no standing or cause to sue the 
government. In addition, I was "on notice" of the potentially hazardous 
nature of the work. I saw the body of a logger who had bad luck, his crushed 
hard hat placed over the part where his head had been. A colleague was killed 
by a falling tree under different circumstances. The "risk" in these cases 
was "relatively" low.

I have a case on file that occurred in my county where a failure of a "live" 
tree (a live-oak) on the edge of, and leaning over, a rural road that killed 
a man driving his car past the tree at the "wrong" time. It was decreed "an 
act of God." The indications of potential were there, but "subtle" to the 
unpracticed eye. I have photographs of this on file. If anyone is interested, 
I could email copies.


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