Caring for established ash trees during drought
Our very large tall ash tree is dropping its limbs! Two times now we have awoken to a large tree branch in our yard after a windy, but not excessive day or night. The first was a large, main branch, the second was smaller. I was able to break up the smaller branch by hand - easy to bend to break up. Is this a sign of age? dryness? dying? What can we do about this? We have 3 more ash trees in the back - no branches have fallen as of yet!
Washington County Oregon
Ashes have brittle wood and are generally susceptible to breaking, particularly if there are narrow or shallow branch angles (the ideal angel that a branch comes off of a trunk is 45 degrees). Have you ever had an arborist look at your trees to determine if they need pruning? Thinning the canopy can help to reduce the "sail" effect of the tree and make it less susceptible to wind damage.
In general with mature trees, consulting with one or more arborist is the best way to understand the health of your trees and what work needs to be performed. Make sure to get more than one bid and that the arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
Please let me know if you have any further questions.