How about it, Tree Stewards and arborists?
What’s your prognosis for an Eastern redbud Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ with a see-through split trunk? Click each image for a better view:
This perky redbud caught our fancy as we conducted the census of specimens planted by Arlington County’s Tree Canopy Fund in the Langston-Brown/Halls Hill neighborhoods. It was decked with plastic Mardi Gras beads, and its owner said that in New Orleans, such bejeweled trees are called “Tree of Life.”
Our tree, however, has several problems. Obvious is its mulch volcano. And although the strands of beads are lightweight, they could burden the branches.
CLUE: Our tree had crossing branches. The one on top sprouted from the back of the larger branch it is weighing down. The trunk split near where these branches originated.
When we examined the trunk, we found that it had been badly split long enough ago for the heartwood to have dried. Tell us what you think!
Can it be saved?
How could it have been prevented?
Is this typical of redbuds?
Is it typical of the Forest Pansy variety?
Comment below with your thoughts!
Tree Stewards Kit Norland and Jo Allen
Master Naturalist Marian Flynn