Bremond Historical House
There have been many changes at the Bremond house. The first of which was a dying American Elm. We removed it and planted a Drake Elm. It is doing well. The second big event was the decline of a very large pecan tree which shaded the front yard and most of the intersection of Guadalupe and 7th ST. It was a tragedy. A Burr Oak replaces it. It has the room to become enormous. As big as these events were over the 20 years Trees Unlimited has cared for their trees, they pale in comparison to the 20 year saga of “leaning live oak”.
The leaning live oak is between two historical houses. It was enormous. However, the threat of it uprooting has been immanent over the past 20 years. We pruned the large limbs growing toward the building to grow up and parallel to the outside of the building. The tenants loved the effect of being in a tree house. The weight and the lean was a heavy liability. All the communication wiring and AC was in the exterior wall that would be destroyed if the oak uprooted. We had to do something.
The first thing we did was roof clearance and weight reduction. This satisfied the fears of the live oak uprooting. We placed a square concrete paver beneath the leaning tree and took a measurement. We monitored it over the years. In 2009, the year of the rain, the movement started. We dramatically removed a lot of weight. No more being in a tree house. Yet the tree survived.
In 2010 the basement leaked. The wall adjacent to the leaning tree was leaking. A 4’by 3’ trench was dug. It was open for months. The solution to the leak was complicated with no clear solution. The tree measurement decreased. A large trunk was removed to reduce the weight on the lever (trunk) trying to pop the roots out of the ground. It still looked unstable. We placed the large diameter wood beneath the leaning trunk to support it if it uprooted. This was an eyesore.
What to do? The tree needed a cradle to carry the massive weight of the remaining trunk. However, where ever I decided to place it seem to be unstable. A second support was necessary. My design was given to an engineering firm to be engineered. A concrete base with rebar and bolts sticking out for rusted steel tubing to be connected. Both supports had concrete pads. One was a double X tubing to carry the weight of the trunk and the second 15’ support was to keep the tree balanced on the X tubing and off cars in parking area. It looked good to everyone.
Three weeks later the tree settled onto the X support and the second support. Two plus years later and everything is stable. We loss the great American Elm and huge Pecan, but we saved the live oak!
About Carl Brockman
An Austin native, Carl Brockman is passionate about preserving the natural landscape of Texas. Carl was a Certified Arborist, formally trained in prescribed burn management and in wildland firefighting, educated in wildlife management, and has more than twenty years experience helping landowners realize their properties’ potential. Through Carl’s experience and vision, Natural Texas has the ability to increase the productivity of your land, as well as its value.