Root Failure When The Ground is Saturated with Rain

Chaplain242

Branched out member
Hey, that man is a national treasure!

And so was this man:

“Don't neglect life by worrying about Death. - I don't know what is the meaning of death, but I am not afraid to die - and I go on, non-stop, going forward [with life]. Even though, I, Bruce Lee, may die some day without fulfilling all of my ambitions, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do and what I've done, I've done with sincerity and to the best of my ability. You can't expect much more from life.”

-Bruce Lee
FMJ is a legendary movie - agree he is national treasure, He was great in Mississippi Burning too. Love the statement ‘We live in a dry state - and have the drunks to prove it!’
 

Birdyman88

Branched out member
Location
Arlington
Well, I got the job done this morning, safely.

I will say I had to pause a couple times because I kept having dark thoughts about the tree tipping over underneath me, but got it done nevertheless.

Still know it’s something I need to address.
Good job bro. Were you able to figure out anything specific that may be influencing your anxiety? Maybe something other than the tree itself? I used to get some anxiety with large trees on hot summer days back when I was climbing DRT, but it ultimately came down to me doubting my fitness level. Had to keep going up to put it together though. It's one of the reasons I climb SRT almost exclusively now. As a whole, I just find it so much easier to get a good TIP and then move around. And the using the legs with the foot ascender makes quick work of upward movement with less strain on arms.

What was happening in my case was that I get up in big tree and have to move vertical a lot on a DRT system, like a deadwood job. I get really hot, the friction is the system gets high at times, hitch doesn't behave, constantly pulling large length of rope tail up and over when redirecting, my arms eventually get tired, and my body starts to feel HEAVY. My mind now translates that heavy feeling into me being a 500 pound weight in the tree, which then subconsciously makes the tree seem relatively weaker. I believe that to be fairly accurate for what was happening. More time in the tree and SRT made that go away. On a cool spring morning, I feel like a squirrel up there.
 
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climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
I haven’t experimented too much with SRT but probably will at some point. I’ve got a pretty solid Ddrt system of a foot ascender with hand ascender combo the makes for an easy and quick ascent.

But when ascending a large tree with big dbh, I tend to need to be close to the tree or tied in with a lanyard while ascending my line to feel secure. Because in the back of my mind I worry if my rope breaks or something. But in a tree with a smaller dbh even if it’s the same height, I might not worry that much. It all depends on the tree.

It’s almost as if the bigger wood makes me perceive more danger or something...?

Idk. It’s weird. I would say I used to feel more comfortable in trees in some cases then I do now, and I wonder if anxiety outside of tree work contributes to more anxiety in the trees.

Regarding the oaks, a couple weeks ago I helped my buddy and the attached pic is what we found once the trunk was all pieced out with a crane. I think it kind of spooked me, even though I’ve seen heart rot before, for some reason it just stuck with me this time and made me nervous climbing this oak.

And then of course the heavy rain, I was worried about weakened soil etc.


This is the stump of the tree I helped my buddy take down, that I think put the worry in my mind about hardwoods and heart rot etc.

Combine that with the worry of the ground soil being less sound, not good.

9B76B38C-14CC-4544-9DD4-C90C73B989AC.jpeg
 
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Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
I haven’t experimented too much with SRT but probably will at some point. I’ve got a pretty solid Ddrt system of a foot ascender with hand ascender combo the makes for an easy and quick ascent.

But when ascending a large tree with big dbh, I tend to need to be close to the tree or tied in with a lanyard while ascending my line to feel secure. Because in the back of my mind I worry if my rope breaks or something. But in a tree with a smaller dbh even if it’s the same height, I might not worry that much. It all depends on the tree.

It’s almost as if the bigger wood makes me perceive more danger or something...?

Idk. It’s weird. I would say I used to feel more comfortable in trees in some cases then I do now, and I wonder if anxiety outside of tree work contributes to more anxiety in the trees.

Regarding the oaks, a couple weeks ago I helped my buddy and the attached pic is what we found once the trunk was all pieced out with a crane. I think it kind of spooked me, even though I’ve seen heart rot before, for some reason it just stuck with me this time and made me nervous climbing this oak.

And then of course the heavy rain, I was worried about weakened soil etc.


This is the stump of the tree I helped my buddy take down, that I think put the worry in my mind about hardwoods and heart rot etc.

Combine that with the worry of the ground soil being less sound, not good.

View attachment 77008
It’s funny, I feel more comfortable climbing large diameter trees than I do small ones, and I prefer SRT by far.

A note on the decayed tree; there’s plenty of solid wood on that tree for me to feel comfortable working in it. I would not hesitate to climb that tree if that’s the only real problem the tree has.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
The decay / hollow went down I think like a couple ft into the ground. Well below the base of the stump.
I’ve seen some of those, we removed a big, fairly healthy looking Red Oak a couple years ago with a hollow big and deep enough our climber jumped in and nearly disappeared… We had to hoist him back out, the hole was 5’ deep!

And by the way, the tree felt solid and gave no one any real concerns while we were removing it, we took it out since it was beginning to lose vigor and we were “thinning” a forested front yard to allow some of the other nicer trees to grow with less competition.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
I’ve seen some of those, we removed a big, fairly healthy looking Red Oak a couple years ago with a hollow big and deep enough our climber jumped in and nearly disappeared… We had to hoist him back out, the hole was 5’ deep!

As I don’t do big removals like that (or rarely) how much strength do you think the tree has left with a big deep hollow? If the hollow goes deep like that wouldn’t that indicate the root ball is compromised?

I thought I read somewhere maybe on here that most of the strength is in the outer wood (correct me if I’m wrong)?
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
As I don’t do big removals like that (or rarely) how much strength do you think the tree has left? If the hollow goes deep like that wouldn’t that indicate the root ball is compromised?
That tree still had plenty; maybe not enough to be considered structurally sound, but plenty to be strong enough for a climbing removal on a day without hurricane force winds.

The depth of a hollow doesn’t worry me too much, as roots flare out, they don’t go down very far anyway. Think of the root flare like a bell, the strength is in the outside of the bell shape, it’s hollow inside, but you still can’t crush it without immense force.
 

LordFarkwad

Branched out member
Location
Chatham Co.
For a given amount of cross sectional area, a tube resists bending better than a cylinder.
Are you saying that a tube with wall cross sectional area = X is stronger than a solid cylinder with cross sectional area = X? That makes sense, if so.

I initially read this as a tube with diameter = X is stronger than the same diameter tube with the center hollowed out. That would be very counterintuitive, at least to me.
 

Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Location
Hoover
Are you saying that a tube with wall cross sectional area = X is stronger than a solid cylinder with cross sectional area = X? That makes sense, if so.

I initially read this as a tube with diameter = X is stronger than the same diameter tube with the center hollowed out. That would be very counterintuitive, at least to me.
Correct. The same principle applies as to why I-beams are used instead of solid rectangular bars of the same weight. I did just find one source (it's on the internet so it must be true) saying the inner quarter (of cross sectional area) of a solid cylinder contributes weight, but little stiffness. Of course trees are not uniform material, so I'm still pondering how the organic structure may affect things.
 

Stumpsprouts

Branched out member
Location
Asheville
The decay / hollow went down I think like a couple ft into the ground. Well below the base of the stump.
Not uncommon. Think of the trunk of the tree as a piece of rigging hardware. It’s MBS is far greater than what it’s WLL is. It’s astonishing what can still be standing because of the strength of even the tiniest bit of wood and the balance the overall canopy gives to a structure.

This is a silver maple I climbed and rigged off of a couple years back... there’s a photo of me in the tree... and my buddy inside. no crane access... no bombing anything. Take it slow, take small pieces, keep moving around the canopy at the top and maintain as much ballast as you can. The grapple of a mini can crumple a 2’ section of this wood. This same 2’ section can hold many tons of weight at heights of 90’. Someone explain that one to me!
 

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climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
Not uncommon. Think of the trunk of the tree as a piece of rigging hardware. It’s MBS is far greater than what it’s WLL is. It’s astonishing what can still be standing because of the strength of even the tiniest bit of wood and the balance the overall canopy gives to a structure.

This is a silver maple I climbed and rigged off of a couple years back... there’s a photo of me in the tree... and my buddy inside. no crane access... no bombing anything. Take it slow, take small pieces, keep moving around the canopy at the top and maintain as much ballast as you can. The grapple of a mini can crumple a 2’ section of this wood. This same 2’ section can hold many tons of weight at heights of 90’. Someone explain that one to me!

Did you know it was hollow like that beforehand?

I mean damn, there’s hardly nothing left.
 

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