cottonwood trees

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by hillbilliesue, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. hillbilliesue

    hillbilliesue Member

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    We have a trio of three very tall cottonwood trees in a corner of driveway. Aside from making a mess, does anyone know how big a threat they pose of blowing over-we've had some high winds lately. Are they shallow-rooted, weak trees etc? Am on V.I. in the hills of Duncan. Thanks, Sue:)
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As always with trees, strictly speaking the potential for mishap depends on the condition of the individual specimen. This is not something to be determined from a distance. It is true, however, that cottonwoods generally are not a good choice for locations near people and things that could be damaged by falling branches. Native black cottonwoods in particular occasionally fail while in leaf, much or most of the tree's crown raining down all at once, as though overburdened by its foliage. For example, a friend who works in forest ecology was with a team in the Queets river drainage on the Olympic Peninsula one summer day and heard one of the nearby towering giants burst apart. Luckily the team was not in or under this particular cottonwood at the time.
     
  3. Thanks for your reply Ron B. Don't know if it's a black cottonwood. In all the high winds last night, surpris. no branches blew down. What do you mean by trees bursting apart? Caused by what? Sap build-up or??? I've heard that they are deeply rooted-do you agree? Sue
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    if you have had high winds and they have not blown down, whats the concern? if they are Lombardy poplar and they are decomposing, then yes, you have some concern. get a local expert in to have a look and give you an imformed opinion. after that, make your decisions.
     
  5. hillbilliesue

    hillbilliesue Member

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    Thanks JimmyQ! I Actually have had a few "experts" look at these trees.Two told me that cottonwoods are deeply planted-no fear of them blowing over; the other 2 told me that they're the weakest of trees that should be cut down now! What would you do?
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I would say, off the cuff of course, poplar is no more likley to have a root plate failure (when the root ball flips up) than most trees, they do however have a reputation of being prone to breakage in the trunk during heavy wind load. if the prevailing winds are towards your house and these trees have the ability to cause damage if they fail in that direction, consider remedial treatment; removal or some sort of pruning potentially to reduce windsail (not really a realistic thing on lombardy poplar because of their growth pattern). If you have a digi camera, lets see some pics and maybe that will help get some feedback?
     

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