Codominant trunks are 2 or more main stems (or “leaders”) that emerge from the same location on the main trunk. These leaders are roughly the same diameter and remain similar in size throughout each growth season. Some easily identifiable risk factors of trees with codominant stems can help you avoid potential damages in the future:

– Shape of the union: If the union, or the point where the trunk splits, is shaped more like a V than a U, it is more likely to fail under hazardous conditions, such as a hurricane.

– Decay in the union: The most clearly visibly symptoms of decay in the union are rotten matter, fluid, swelling of the bark or wood, or woody plants growing inside the union.

– Union failure: Weakened, damaged unions will start to crack or tear under the weight of the multiple trunks.

Mature trees with codominant stems, especially those with a compromised union, should be evaluated by a Certified Arborist. They can then determine if cabling can be used to increase the tree’s stability. Check back tomorrow for more information on cabling!

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