A father’s worst fears about a leaning pine tree on Hubbard Road were confirmed on Friday after the city’s Forestry Division inspected the tree.
It’s been difficult for the Columbus man to drive past the leaning tree since his daughter struck a downed tree on the rainy, dark road while traveling about 50 mph. “But for the grace of God, she could have easily lost her life,” he said.
An inspection from the city’s forestry crew on Thursday and Friday confirmed the pine tree is not only on the city right-of-way but is diseased and needs to come down as soon as possible, said Don Osborne, deputy director of Public Works.
“It will be removed as soon as possible by Tuesday at the latest,” Osborne said of the tree in the 1600 block of Hubbard Road. Taking down the tree will require a flagger on the roadway to direct traffic in the area.
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The area resident made that same diagnosis on the tree some time ago. “It’s clearly diseased at its base, and it’s only a matter of time until it comes down on the road,” he said.
Near the trunk of the tree is what an arborist calls a canker, a tree disease. “It was beginning to show some disease,” said Pat Biegler, director of Public Works. “They go by this rating process, and that reduces the score on the tree significantly.”
With the canker, the health of the tree is weakened. Biegler didn’t know whether the tree was on a watch list like other leaning pines and other trees in the city.
“It wasn’t on mine,” she said. “It could have been on any of the guys who check it out occasionally in the Forestry Division. There are a few they keep an eye on because they worry about them.”
Canker diseases are common in a wide range of trees. It’s a symptom of an injury associated with an open wound that has become infected. Some may give off a foul smelling sap in the area.
In some cases, a canker kills branches on trees and weaken it until the damaged area breaks. Common cankers are found on pine, spruce, poplars and willows. Other types of cankers are found in other trees.
The canker on the leaning pine is visible with some bark missing and the area discolored compared to the rest of the tree. It can take months or years for a canker to create problems for twigs, branches and trunks in plants and trees. The disease doesn’t help the life of the tree .
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