Mighty Oak - Inherited Backyard Tree - June 2018

Back at the end of May, I entered a River Birch tree in our backyard into my [Garden Diary].  It was a tree that we inherited, but I wanted to document it during the Summer of 2018, so I have something to revisit as it grows over time.   Today, I'm entering another tree:  a mighty Oak tree that is the inherited tree that is closest to our patio.  You can see it above in a photo that I took recently as the canopy continues to leaf out.

This is one of two really large Oaks that we have inside the fence line.  The other is the 'tree house' candidate that I posted about earlier this Spring.

This Oak (above) is the tree that we have hung our tree swing on and you can see the ropes coming down from it in the photo.

This tree was one of a few that were in a row when we bought the property, but due to the drainage requirements - we had to build an underground pit out back and swale our land towards it - we had to remove a few of the other trees.  None of them were this big and stately, but they were closely packed.  So that meant that this Oak was fighting for canopy space until the past year.

The tree guys also cleaned this up and limbed things up to a handful of large, high-up limbs.

That means that the tree can start to stretch out and get growth in places that have, historically, been confined for light.  And I'm seeing tons of new growth on the large limbs.

That's all good stuff and means that this tree is set up for success.

The bad stuff?

I'm concerned about the tree.  In the long run.

When the 'pit' back there was dug, it was dug pretty close to the root system of this tree and I can guarantee that it suffered some significant damage.

And it shows.  Kinda.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a couple of 'tips' of the limbs are leafless and are likely dead.  That's not a good sign.  Trees that suffer 'root stress' often (at least according to this piece) show crown decline.  I suspect that's what's happening here.

The good news is that while the construction of the pit likely stressed the roots of this tree, the accompanying swale is now channeling every bit of groundwater over towards the direction of the tree, so it is getting as watered as it possibly could in our yard.

I'll be keeping a close eye on the tree over time and this post is something that I'll revisit over the seasons to document how it is doing and to ensure that we're staying on top of things.  If a tree is going to get treated to extend it's life in our yard, it is going to be this one.  Due to the location and the impact it is having, the costs are totally worth it.


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