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Heritage Valley Oak Tree near Adelia Ct – Health Update & Removal

Heritage Valley Oak Tree near Adelia Ct – Health Update & Removal

We are very sad to report that our historic heritage Valley Oak tree at the end of Adelia Ct must be removed due to ongoing health issues. This was initially noticed by the HOA’s contracted arborist and corroborated by the city of Concord’s arborist.

This tree is a local landmark, and one of only five Heritage Trees designated by the city of Concord due to their exceptional historic, visual or ecological significance. Our arborist estimates that this tree is anywhere from 250 to 500 years old. This is absolutely devastating news and it is with heavy hearts that we must have it removed due to its progressively hazardous situation.

This came to our attention when our arborist noticed some fungal conk growing in multiple locations of the trunk or base of the tree. Conks can be an indication of rot. A sample of this fungus was removed and sent to a local lab for analysis. Unfortunately the lab found that several of these conks were from “last year’s fruiting of Laetiporus sulphureus,” (Chicken of the woods, Sulfur shelf), which “causes a red-brown carbonizing heart rot. The presence of the conks on the tree indicate that heart rot is present and the tree may be hazardous.”

After receiving those results from the lab, we had a vendor perform a tree resistiograph to measure for internal decay. A resistograph is a very small electronically-controller drill (about 1/16th of an inch in diameter) that provides a report on the relative density of the wood, to help detect wood decay, stages of rot, hollow areas, etc. These results showed advanced levels of decay and a hollow column in the main trunk of the tree. Our arborist then performed a Tree Risk Assessment per the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Manual. It was determined that, given all of the information available, this tree is categorized as an extreme risk as the likelihood of failure is imminent. This means that as the decay and rot progresses, the tree is liable to come down.

We presented this information to the city’s arborist who confirmed the findings and is stating that it is necessary to have the tree removed due to its hazardous condition. A permit for this tree’s removal was approved by the city that same day.

The Board is currently obtaining bids from vendors for the removal of this tree. Our contracted arborist wrote up a detailed scope of work for this removal due to the large size and sensitive and historical nature of the tree. A 150 ton crane is required due to the sheer size of this tree (about 69” in diameter!). Part of the scope of work is an option to take any salvageable wood to a local mill for curing. The intent behind something like this would be to use whatever wood we can to create memorials – benches, tables, chairs, etc. This is something the board is considering, but it does come at a sizeable cost.

The Board has scheduled a special town-hall style meeting to specifically discuss this tree and the options available. It is important to note that the Board does not have the ability to defer removal of the tree at this time. The city and the Association’s arborist have both concluded that the tree is extremely hazardous and must be removed. The purpose of this meeting will be to allow homeowners to provide feedback regarding topics such as what to do with the space after the tree is removed, opinions regarding curing/salvaging the wood, any memories you might have of this tree, etc.

The special Board meeting will be held via Zoom on February 9th at 7pm. All homeowners are encouraged to attend and provide feedback to the Board. This is not an easy decision to have to make, and the Board would very much appreciate comments or feedback from the membership on dealing with this space after the tree has been removed and how to best memorialize this historic tree.

The meeting notice with the Zoom info will be posted on the HOA website as well as the Business Office. Please don’t hesitate to contact the GM if you have any questions or need help attending the meeting. We hope to see you there!