can I save my damaged oak tree?

Asked January 17, 2015, 12:38 AM EST

I have a possibly 300 year old oak tree in my yard that lost a large limb in the Feb. 2014 ice storm. A local tree service told me the tree will die and fall on my house eventually, and my family is heartbroken. Do you have someone with specialized knowledge about old oak trees or tree damage? Is there any kind of brace that could be constructed to protect my house and leave the tree in place to see if it can survive? I have attached an image.

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for sending the image along - this really helps me understand the issue. Sorry for your loss - that looks like it was a beautiful tree. However, it now appears very unbalanced, and since the remaining part of the crown leans towards your house, this should be a great concern.

I'm not sure I agree the tree will die, but it certainly will be structurally compromised. There really isn't much you can do as far as bracing this tree as far as I can see from the photo. I suppose it would be possible to cable it back to another tree in the area, but this isn't a step you would take lightly. Cabling and bracing a tree means you have to maintain can't just put it in and leave it.

I suggest that you have a consulting arborist give you an opinion on this. Visit for a list of people who should be able to help you.