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Asked July 16, 2015, 8:42 AM EDT

We have an old Norway Maple with a crotch that developed between 3 vertical sections of the tree. Inside the crotch we have found small roots nested together rather tightly and under them a damp cardboard like barrier. We want to keep the tree for many years to come. It is thinned and trimmed professionally regularly and was recently done. It is healthy otherwise. what can we do about this crotch area?

Berks County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Sounds like you have 3 co-dominant stems with included bark that has cause some decay leading to some roots sprouting in the decaying area between the stems.

The issue with co-dominant stems is that they are not strong branch attachments and we often see large limbs split out with time (and weather induced). The co-dominant stems are a structure defect, that is best corrected when the tree is young - pruning to maintain 1 central leader with small branches coming off of that trunk.

My best suggestion is to hire an ISA Certified Arborist who has experience with cabling and tree risk assessments. Have them come in and look at the tree and decide if installing cables higher in the crown can help. If there is too much decay, the cables will not help for long.

visit www.isa-arbor.com to find an ISA Certified Arborist