The Q&A Archives: split trunk

Question: my neighbor tree has a splitl trunk, it where it branches out with two limbs and then shoots up 20 feet or so. I am afraid its going to split and fall,

what can be done?

neighbor is gone, she left the house, grass is brown and plants are dieing

Answer: Usually there's not much that can be done. However, a professional (tree arborist) can assess the health of the tree and may suggest anchoring the two main trunks together. The first step is to drill holes through both halves of the split in which a bolt or rod is inserted. With long split areas, 2 or more bolts may be necessary. In addition to the bolts, it often helps to install a steel cable between the two main branches of the split fork several feet above the split (Fig. 4B). Use lag screws to attach the cable to each branch. Do not wrap the cable around the branch or it may eventually girdle it. This cable system helps hold the crotch together, thus reducing the chance of further breakage. I offer this only for information purposes. Since the tree is not on your property you probably won't want to do any repair work without the owner's permission.

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