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Creating An Inviting Yard

I have always been one of those people who loves to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for others, which is why I started looking at landscaping design in the first place. It was incredible to me to see how much of a difference I was able to make by adding a few new plants, and after that first project, I wanted to help other people. I started volunteering to help friends and neighbors do their landscaping, and after a few months, I had developed quite a following. This blog is all about creating a warm, inviting yard through smart landscaping and an eye for detail.

Creating An Inviting Yard

4 Options That May Save A Split Tree

by Addison Washington

Trees with more than one main trunk are prone to splitting down the center of the trunk joint. Splitting can be caused by storms, including high winds or heavy snow loads, but sometimes a trunk simply splits because the weight of the crown becomes too great for the weaker of the trunks. Although removal is sometimes the only solution, there are times when the tree can be saved.

1. Remove One Trunk

In some cases, it's possible to trim out the weaker of the two trunks, especially if it is a younger tree with trunks that split at or near the soil. Generally, if the split has only resulted in one trunk falling over and the other is still upright, healthy, and supporting the majority of the crown, then single trunk removal may be possible. Your tree service will cut off the other trunk nearly flush at the joint. The wound will be cleaned up to prevent infection and encourage quick healing. 

2. Splint the Trunks

For splits higher up on the trunk, splinting or bolting may be an option. Your tree service will begin by drilling through both trunks near the top of the split. A large metal rod or bolt is then inserted through this hole and bolted in place so the split is held snugly together. Depending on the depth of the split and the size of the trunks, multiple bolts may be used and installed at varying angles in order to improve support. Eventually, the trunk will heal over the exterior of the split, thus strengthening the repair.

3. Reduce Crown Weight

Crown weight reduction is usually done in conjunction with either trunk removal or splinting. Dead and weak wood is simply trimmed out of the crown to reduce the weight supported by the trunk. Branches may also be trimmed back so that the crown is more compact and symmetrical, which will help reduce the weight load on the damaged trunks. 

4. Add Outside Support

Finally, a tree may require some outside support so it doesn't move too much in wind and storms, at least until the split wound begins to heal. This is usually done with cabling, as unlike rope, a cable can withstand the weight and tension of a heavy trunk. Cables may be used to support larger branches so they don't put unnecessary stress on the damaged trunk. They can also be used to support the trunk itself so it doesn't move too much as it heals. 

Contact a tree service if you are concerned about a split tree on your property.