Monday, July 1, 2013

Tree talk: Old Pine Trees by Robert Fogg

I would like to talk about big old pine trees. Like us humans, pines tend to get a little brittle and lose flexibility when they get older. The limbs of an old pine tree can stretch out to 40 feet or more. Not only are these limbs getting more brittle as time goes on, but they are also getting heavier. Length plus weight equals leverage. Add in a pinch of brittle and you could have a disaster on your hands…or your roof… or your head. The good news is that these limbs often have a tendency to break off in the winter under the weight of heavy ice and snow. With a little luck, they will fall harmlessly onto a blanket of snow when no one is around. Many times I’ve been told: “That tree has been there a hundred years and it has never broken before”. The fact is, that it is bigger and heavier and more brittle than it has ever been before and it’s almost guaranteed that it won’t be standing there one hundred years from now. Hopefully, when it comes down, it will be in a safe and manageable way. If you have any question about your old pines or any other tree around your yard, please contact a competent arborist for an evaluation.

The author is General Manager of Q-Team Tree Service in Naples and is also a licensed arborist.


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