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Ways to strengthen dead tree trunk

died approx 8 years ago, recently removed ivy from lower trunk but not sure if I have weakened the trunk.  It appears to be sturdy.

i do not want to lose the tree as it is beautiful, architectural and perch for birds.  Options could be to shorten or remove, but to shorten will lose the perches.  Gardens open onto open ground so not fear of human injuries, may damage existing fencing of both mine and neighbouring garden, but they are old anyway, and cheap to replace - therefore preferable option is to strengthen - any ideas?  

Would wrapping with chicken wire, etc, work?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,012
    edited April 2019
    There's no practical way of supporting that tree ... it will fall down at some time, may be sooner, may be later ... it will do damage to property when it falls ... you seem not to mind this ... however you cannot be sure that it will not harm someone ... it appears to be near a boundary ... if you're not worried about your tree falling on you when you're in your garden you should be concerned about your neighbours ... there may be no warning when it falls ... it doesn't have to be on a windy day ... it could just drop.

    I would get it felled and replaced asap. 

    In the case below, the National Trust were found not to be guilty of negligence as they did not know the tree was dying ... you do know your tree is dead, consequently your household insurance may not cover you if it injures someone

    I'm sorry it's not the answer you want but I have to be honest. 

    And every dead plant is a new planting opportunity ... what about a holly ... lots of benefits for wildlife and protection from the weather for the birds. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I agree with Dove and wouldn't go anywhere near that - the trunk base looks as though it has already partly been eaten away by fungi and borers and 'sturdy' is not a word I'd use in describing it.  It could come down this very minute.  I'd have it professionally felled and would keep a lot of it (especially the rotting parts) to make a log pile, or all of it if I had a log burner. 
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,911
    Hello Joanne,  welcome to the forum.  I am sorry but l agree with Dove and Bob. It has been dead for 8 years, and judging by the state of the base of it, l think it is dangerous to be honest. 
    I can appreciate your wish to keep attracting wildlife, but you could do that by replacement planting,  and keeping some of the dead wood in a log pile for wildlife if you wished to.
    I don't think using chicken wire or similar would stop it from coming down, even with the best will in the world.
    Sorry that this isn't the response l know you were hoping for, please don't be put off  :)
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,454
    Another vote for take it down before it falls down.  The lower part does not look good, and it's entirely possible for the outer parts to look sound whilst the inside has rotted away.
  • Joanne!Joanne! Posts: 6
    Thanks everyone for one for your comments.  Yes you are right, it wasn't what I wanted to hear, but you are right about removing it, in my heart I knew what the response would be.  I will start looking into having it felled, or at least cut down to reasonable level.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,454
    If you had it reduced to just above the lowest branch on the right, and the remaining branches shortened, you could still hang feeders from it and possibly grow clematis or similar up it.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,744
    That tree looks dangerous are you sure that it's safe? 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,454
    That tree looks dangerous are you sure that it's safe? 
    The only way it's possible to know whether keeping part of the trunk is practical is to get professional advice.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295
    a dead tree will fall sooner or later and that's not exactly attractive is it

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,744
    Please make sure that it's safe my next door neighbour had one which had been dead for about the same time as yours which fell down recently, luckily it wasn't as tall as yours and it fell into their garden and not mine.
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