Are trees with multiple trunks more dangerous?

Hey guys my name is Mark Russell. I’m a Certified Arborist.I’m coming to you from Marietta georgia.  I have a really really really neat tree to show you here in just a second!

So what I want to talk to you about today is what’s known as a co-dominant tree. Here’s a great example of one. This is two trees kodom, two trunks and they have what we call included bark. Right here as each stem gets bigger it squishes together. They are prone to failure, because they don’t have many fibers going here, it’s a highly acute angle, and because they’re relatively straight up and down. Being straight up and down they don’t typically build a lot of good response growth because the energy from this tree is going straight down rather than out. So they don’t build a lot of collar here and they obviously don’t have a lot of attachment points. So his is why they tend to fail.

Now the way to solve this problem is to put a strap between limbs up at the top. It’s called a Cobra sling or you can put a cable system in there where you drill the tree, put lag bolts in, and then you cable them together.

So, now I need to show you something that is awesome! This is why I actually shoot the video. This is a pre failed tree. Look at this! It’s pre failed! The tree failed, but it didn’t go all the way. My suspicion is way way up at the tippy-top during a storm it started to split. Now you can tell. Just let me show you this. You can tell that this has been split for a few years because of this rounding right here. That’s indicating to us that tree has been split, and then has started to round in there for at least three years or probably more like five. Now look at this guys. Look at all that decay. Now not everybody knows this, but decay doesn’t ever go away in a tree. Trees cannot un-decay. So unlike human bodies where the bones and other parts can make new cells and stitch together internally, the cambium layer of the tree, which is right on that outside edge of the tree, is the only place where trees new cells can get created. Right there. That’s the cambium layer. So ultimately all of this decay that’s inside this trunk, it’s never gonna stitch back together. So guys, ultimately this tree is a weak tree. It’s pre failed. It’’s a good thing that it doesn’t have an awesome target right there. I mean, I sure wouldn’t want it to be hanging over that house.

So one more thing that I was going to mention that was very interesting. A while back this tree started to go. What I think happened is way way up at the tip, way up there, the tips touched another trees tips.  When you’re talking about 40 feet up that’s a lot of leverage . Twigs can stop whole trunks from completing their failure at that kind of height. So anyway, that’s what I think has happened with this tree. This tree is just such a great example of codominant trees, why they’re weak, and why you should put a Cobra sling onto a codominant tree.

Listen guys my name’s Mark Russell, 770-ARBORIST. We serve the North Atlanta area. In this case we are in Marietta Georgia. If you’ve had a tree fail we work with insurance companies. We have been in this business since 1997. Give me a call I’d love to help you answer any questions that you have. The number is 770-ARBORIST. Take care you guys!

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