Is my liquidambar dying?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by jogardener, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. jogardener

    jogardener Member

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    Location:
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    We noticed last year our liquidambar had a split on the trunk and a few lower dying branches, when I inquired at the local garden centre, they determined it was just from being disturbed during a recent renovation. Well, this year it's looking much worse, the trunk only -- the crown of the tree is looking healthy full and beautiful, yet the trunk looks terrible and is really starting to lean to one side.... any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     

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  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Does the edging visible in 1 and 2 confine the roots of your tree?
    Tree looks quite close to your house.
    Consider consulting an arborist on possible remedies for trunk damage.
     
  3. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    What kind of renovation went on? Were they digging up around the tree or bouncing stuff off the trunk? Are them cracks I'm seeing in the heartwood under the bark?

    It seems creepy I agree. Sweetgums were more popular here a few decades ago so I usually see mature species. At some point the trunk does turn pretty rough though.
     
  4. ryansenechal

    ryansenechal Active Member

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    It's tough to comment on the status based on the photos alone. A visit from your local certified arborist is your best bet.
     
  5. jogardener

    jogardener Member

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    thank you all for the input -- I agree, I think my best bet is to have an arborist come and assess the status. There was no digging involved near the tree during the renovation and the tree is at least 5m away from the foundation of the house. The concrete ring around the tree is laying on the ground only as protection from the mower and weedeater, so wouldn't be restricting the roots. I'll post when I have an arborist's assessment done.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. jogardener

    jogardener Member

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    I had an aborist visit and assess my liquidambar tree. The DX is probably some mechanical damage either at the nursery or when the tree was planted. The canopy is extremely health and the areas of concern on the trunk are healing themselves. Was told to just keep an eye on it and some specific pruning was recommended.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Liquidambar styraciflua is a fast-growing, unusually short-lived tree frequently forming a gradually tapering trunk resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I'd be concerned about one with a trunk looking like that of yours snapping off later, when the top is heavier. Species has shown a vulnerability to breakage due to the planting of forms that retain foliage into December in this region, then break apart readily under heavy slushy snow loads.
     
  8. ryansenechal

    ryansenechal Active Member

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    I'll second Ron's comments about structural weakness particularly with the early snow loading events. I've put a number of Sweetgums through the chipper due to catastrophic structural failure at much smaller wound sites than what is shown on your tree. That said, if callus tissue is forming well around the wounding and no nearby structures are at risk (which judging by the size of your tree, is not an issue for a while), retention is definitely the ticket. Monitoring is the key.
     

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