Summer Limb Drop


Well-Known Member
I've seen at least two big Pin Oaks this year that lost lower, horizontal limbs. No indications of decay or visible structural deficiencies. No signs of previous damage followed up by reaction tissue.

It definitely makes people aware of their big Oaks.


Well-Known Member
Louisville, KY
Sweetgum stands out to me. About ten years ago I was called out to a clients house to clean up a fallen limb.

10" sweetgum limb, 40' up in the tree, snapped out about five feet from the trunk. No decay that I could see. Calm, muggy day, hot.

To this day I don't trust a big sweetgum in the heat of the summer.



Medina, Ohio
Sweetgum stands out to me.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's funny you mention that. While getting a drink, I noticed a hanger in the sweetgum outside my kitchen window. As I walked around the side of the house to inspect further, the limb suddenly fell. 4" dia. 12' long, broke about a foot from trunk. No wind for over a week and branch was still very much alive.


Well-Known Member
Olympia, WA
I had a large cottonwood branch break several feet out from the trunk. It was a windless summer night when the first large limb on the tree broke at about 20" branch diameter on a 4' trunk.


we had a big (50") cottonwood in our yard, and in the middle of summer it would drop huge limbs (20-30" dia)we solved the problem by removing all the cottonwood trees on our property. all the limbs fell during the same conditions described above. this SLD idea is new to me and very interesting...


Well-Known Member
check out this large American beech limb that just dropped recently.

I dropped suddenly. Rain, but no wind added just enough weight to cause this horizontal limb to pop off. Healthy limb otherwize.

We can visually see the defect here, now that it broke, but the owners could not see any evidence before what was inside the tree.

pretty cool huh?


Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Maine Island
A client just had this happen with a 9” red oak limb, exactly as described by ISA pubs etc. No property damage thankfully.

Since then I’ve been noticing many oak and maple limbs which have failed limbs 1’-3’ out from branch union. All are on the lowest or second lowest branch but are smaller diameter than what I’ve read is common. We went from a droughty June to inches of rain July. Snapped this pick yesterday. Wicked weird, may not be SLF/SLD but I’ve no better explanation DFC6B97A-AE3E-4FE2-9403-CD3777FD2092.jpeg

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