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Exploding branches

pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

For the last couple of months I've been noticing trees around here with branches that are not just broken, they look as if they have exploded. The branches vary in diameter from as thick as a finger to as thick as someone's torso. They are all  high up in the trees, above head height, some over 5 or 6 metres up. The trees vary from willow to alder to cotoneaster. The breaks are traumatic, the broken off sections of branch hang almost vertically downward. In the case of my cotoneaster, the upper surface of the branches (3) were shattered while the under surfaces were undamaged. Other branches were unaffected. It is impossible to return the branches to their original shape because the splintering has distorted the timber so much.

We have had snow but nothing so severe as to cause a large branch to break. We have had frosts, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Anybody got any ideas as to what has affected these trees in this way?

Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,351

    image  Not seen anything like that - have you got any photos?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    Sorry for the delay. The Peak Park are always very quick to trim the branches off and mine went into the shredder but I'll have a look.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    I think I'd have a stab at the weather in the past few years. We haven't had low temperatures in winter for a few years, wood/trees need low temperatures to maintain the density of the wood. Warm winters produce weaker wood which makes them more susceptible to frost damage. I saw a documentary a few years ago where wood was shattered by low temperatures, it's common in other countries apparently. I've not seen the same over here but climate change is having an effect on all our flora and fauna. Only a guess mind you, but I do know wood density is affected by weather conditions.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    Thanks for that. I'm going to go on a hunt tomorrow and see if I can find an example.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Good lord!!

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    image

     

    Just been out for a walk on this unexpectedly beautiful day. Fog had been forecast.image

    Every man and his uncle are out in the Peak District today so it was a quick walk to find an exploded tree and home to hide behind the garden wall and sit in the sun.

    Here is a silver birch with both large and small branches blown open. It isn't wind damage. Strange that so many different types of tree have been got.

     

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,559

    It looks like wind damage in the photo but you've seen it for real.

    If it's in the Peak Park maybe you could contact someone there to see what they think.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,351

    Curiouser and curiouser image

    Can you get in touch with the Peak District National Park people, or maybe the clever people at Kew and see if they have an explanation?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,559

    Snap Doveimage

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,545

    Unfortunately, the men at Peak Park are very quick to tidy things up so some of the best examples have already been taken away. This is one that they haven't caught up with.I shall gave a word with them the next time I see them. They love to stop and have a chat about their work.image

    The reason I say it isn't wind damage is because of the position of many of the trees which are sometimes in sheltered spots or in hollows which are full of other trees none of which show any damage at all. Each damaged tree seems to be mainly affected on its inner branches and the ones that are broken are surrounded by others which are not. Also, it hasn't been very windy lately, at least not for round here!

    Yes, I'll catch one of my PP friends. I have heard them and their chain saws in the last few days. Thanks.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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