Problem: This double stemmed red oak has a cracked tree trunk. The result is two very heavy main leaders that are not secured to each other naturally or by roots.
The two leaders have too much weight and are in danger of breaking apart. Even if one of the leaders breaks, the entire tree is lost, since either side needs the other side for balance.
Solution: Prune it when it’s very young to remove the competing leader. One leader will become strong and will likely straighten up over time.
If the tree is older, cable the main leaders together, remove excess weight and the over extended branches.
This tree had a cable installed, but the continued growth of the tree over the next 15 years was too much weight for the cable to support and it continued to crack, showing light at ground height between the two massive trunks.
Unfortunately the tree had to be removed. Upon taking it down, significant decay was discovered in the base--which was expected.
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