cutting trees down

Old 10-06-16, 01:04 PM
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Question cutting trees down

I don't know if this is the correct area to post this question...but here goes. We have 3 large trees in our back yard that we are considering cutting down. Two of the trees (1 cedar 1 fir) are so close together (less than 2') that they would both have to come down. The other is a cedar is 14' away. That is the one I would like to leave standing if we could. That tree has always been blocked by the wind by the other two trees. I'm not sure if we would be undermining the root system of that tree if we cut the other two down. That, and the fact that it would then be exposed to any high winds that we may get. Any opinions on this?
Old 10-06-16, 01:08 PM
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Not knowing how much wind you get it would be hard to say if the increased wind would affect the remaining tree .... but I doubt it would. Cutting the other 2 trees down should affect the roots any unless you are pushing the tree/stump over.
Old 10-06-16, 01:18 PM
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I don't see a problem, this scenario is very common in yards.
Old 10-06-16, 02:34 PM
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Just information to consider. Without knowing what all the factors are the following may or may not apply.

Trees shaded in a windbreak do not develop what is called reaction wood. Basically this is a growth pattern that allows the growth rings to develop in a way to allow the bending of a tree in a wind. It is not uncommon at all for a tree exposed to a previously absent wind load to fail, as trees of this growth pattern are inherently unstable.

Again, a lot of factors (age, wind load, density in surrounding, topography) come in to play. If the failure of the subject tree could cause harm to property or persons, I would urge you to consult an arborist. A cheap $100-$200 insurance policy.
Old 10-07-16, 06:28 AM
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This question reminds me of another larger issue involving timber harvesting.

As a Real Estate Broker here in Vermont, I often became involved in selling timberland after the cellulose on it had been harvested, or partially harvested.

One of the things that I discovered over my career was that as Timber industry was criticized and maligned for its practice of "Clear Cutting" acreage (uglifying the horizon), it responded with a technique of planting and harvesting in "avenues) planting alternating wide stretches (50' to 100') of trees in a manner that created growth that took into account the prevailing wind patterns.

But still, when cut as planned, the remaining trees often succumbed to wind damage and blow downs around the perimeter because those trees had developed root structures that relied on the existence of the surrounding trees and their foliage to absorb the effects of the wind and reduce the amount of damage to the individual trees.

So we weren't doing them any favors by planting and harvesting in avenues, and the practice seems to have been abandoned around here. The point is that trees (like the lone Cedar described in by the OP) develop differently in ways that take into account the protection they receive from the surrounding vegetation, and they often suffer damage when that protection is removed.
Old 10-12-16, 11:02 AM
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My thoughts were with what tumble and Vermont posted. To be on the safe side it is kind of an all or nothing situation. The 3 trees are located with a bank on one side so the roots are only strongly supported on 3 sides.

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