Large branch broke off in a storm.
My knowledge of tree anatomy and physiology is poor. The internal organs seem to be exposed?
Will it continue to live and grow - or does it need a chainsaw?
Hi Graeme (@Noyade),
Since there is a substantial amount of cambium left, (think of it as the layer under the bark that contains the blood vessels) the tree will continue to grow. However, what concerns me is the tree looks top-heavy above the split portion. If a significant amount of timber split away from the trunk and the tree's diameter is compromised, I believe there is potential for the top to snap off in high winds. The heartwood is also now exposed and will leave the tree susceptible to insect attack and rot moving forward.
It would be my opinion that you should consider removing or at least monitoring it closely over the next several years.
Hi @Noyade that's a serious break...
Looks like a classic example of what they call 'included bark'. Happens where a tree develops two main shoots or major new branches and instead of the bark joining up it forms two face-to-face bark surfaces. You end up with a branch or leader that looks, say, 15cm thick but the connecting tissue may only be 5 or 10cm thick. Then all it takes is a heavy wind or increased loading from rain on foliage and... ssssnnnnaaapppppp...
Here's the problem - the tree is seriously compromised and the break is very messy. You could try to tidy it up a lot more with a good quality pruning saw but as @MitchellMc mentioned the risk now is insect or fungal attack of that heartwood.
Worth understanding an old expression in tree-care (arboriculture) too - 'Trees don't heal, they seal.'
What this means is that the tree won't develop new tissue to replace what's been lost or damaged. It will just seal the area off. That's where you can get problems with fungus, rot etc.
Consider too whether this lost limb may cause imbalance in the tree. It may now have excess loading to one side which can cause it to fall that way.
Personally... if it was a special tree I'd be seeing how it goes and monitoring closely for at least a year. Otherwise I'd be looking at professional advice or just getting council approval for removing & replacing.
Completely agree with @Adam_W. If it's a special tree then by all means tidy it up and monitor it carefully but if it was mine, I think I'd opt for permission to have it professionally removed. The risk of leaving it in situ and having further breaks or branches fall outweighs other options in my opinion.
Many thanks for the free consultations and medical advice.
I'll keep a close eye on the patient who is presently asymptomatic - but I'll be sharpening the chainsaw.
The tree is not loved - nor will it be missed.