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Drought condition trees can be extra dangerous

Burnham

Woods walker
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
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Western Oregon
It came to my mind to toss this out there, from my safe rocker on the front porch :).

Over the many years I climbed, and instructed climbers, it was a normal part of the hazard analysis to consider droughty weather as a factor that can/will increase the likelihood of limb and even stem breakout, in many species of trees.

So a word of warning from this old climber...this year in many parts of the US, it could be a real factor to pay attention to.

Take care, my friends.
 
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lxskllr

Treehouser
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Jul 21, 2019
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MD USA
We don't really have that issue here, but how long does it take a tree to recover? Been dry as hell, but you just had a nice soaking rain. When does it turn back to a "normal" tree?
 

Burnham

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Mar 7, 2005
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Not really a clue, here. But my guess is, more than a single rainy day, for sure. I think I'd be looking for more than a rainy month, even.
 

CurSedVoyce

California Hillbilly
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Jun 30, 2008
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Near Yosemite in CA USA
The weight added to the limbs during transpiration here in hades makes for sudden/summer limb drop. If the tree has defects inside a limb, they fail. I have had limbs 24" diameter fall where i had been standing 24 hours prior. As a rule, we do not park our cars under trees. Picnics should be under healthy trees (if you can tell) or under an awning you brought with. Any tree with poor attachments V in stead of U is subject to having a failure in our temps.


And mind you TIPs. Work your way up more from larger tie ins
 

Bermy

Acolyte of the short bar
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May 3, 2008
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Tasmania
Good topic Burnham.
I would hazard a theory that a prolonged period of a very low soil moisture index could raise the caution flags.
 

frans

TreeHouser
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
897
I will chime in here…
In terms of drought stress, trees react in ways we humans find difficult to understand. For example a drought year 5 years ago may just be showing severe effects now.
trees in general live much longer than humans. Seems simple to comprehend, difficult to realize day to day
 

Bermy

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May 3, 2008
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Tasmania
Not enough people think in the time scale of trees.
I reckon there is an element of truth in the character of the 'Ents' in Lord of the Rings...:)
 
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