Broken limb in the Elm Grove

Table of Contents

Broken limb in the Elm Grove

Late November 2014: One of the large horizontal limbs on the large elm finally cracked under the weight of the new Spring growth. Fortunately part of it came to rest supported by the ground and didn't damage the fence passing underneath.

1. Broken limb

2. Ouch!

3. Clearing the foliage before cutting up the limb. Surprisingly it only took two trailer-loads for the foliage and smaller branches and one [slightly overloaded] load for the limb itself

4. First cuts with limb supported. This is about as big as my 18in chainsaw can cope with.

5. On the way to the woodshed. Must be close to a tonne of wet wood there, judging by the low ride.

Preventing the next Broken Limb

There are still another two limbs that are at risk of breaking at some point although I'm amazed this next one hasn't already, the stresses must be huge.

To try to save it, I will employ the age-old method of propping it up.

6. Saving the next limb

First, something to sit on that will spread the weight, which is a 100mm thick steel reinforced concrete pad that I poured in place in a hole approximately 400mm square. On this sit two bricks, loose, then a 150mm diameter treated pine post that I shaped at the top to fit the curvature of the limb, just to make the pressure point as large as possible. It will also help keep the post in place and keep it from rotating. The post was cut to length such that the limb would exert some load on it at this time of year (mid Winter). I'm hoping this is the time when the limb will be it's least load and therefore will keep downward force on the post throughout the year. Otherwise the post won't stay in place. Everything has to be able to move and pivot a little as the wind blows.

7. Finished prop