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Capen Sycamore, 2008
Platanus occidentalis


In the summer of 2008 a new crack was spotted on the trunk of the giant Sycamore that towers in front of Capen House.

Chief Arborist John Berryhill has been monitoring the tree's condition due to the existence of a large cavity in the trunk. The new crack that has appeared below the cavity signaled the need for a careful inspection and evaluation of the tree's structural integrity. A consultant was hired and concluded that the tree has significant internal rot and is at risk of coming down in the next strong wind.

The images on this page illustrate the tree's deteriorating condition and sadly, why it must be removed.

Click on the images to enlarge

sycamore crack
The new crack in
the Sycamore's trunk
that called attention to
the tree's deteriorating
structural integrity.
sycamore crack
A close-up of the crack.




 
sycamore cavity
The cavity above the crack.

leg in cavity
The cavity with John's leg inside to show the size.
  upper cavity
Above the large cavity is a limb
with another cavity and a crack
where it joins the tree.

Botanic Garden Director Michael Marcotrigiano holds a section of
a hollow limb from the Sycamore.

decoration

©2008, The Botanic Garden of Smith College
Northampton MA 01063
(413) 585-2740