I just had an arborist look at a red maple with a long bark split in my yard. His diagnosis was that it was struck by lightning (there was a close lightning strike a few months ago) and the tree needs to come down.
The tree is approx 40-50 ft tall and roughly a 30" diameter. Not a giant, but no sapling for sure! Exact measurements coming.
The bark is split but the wood underneath is solid.
The tree is roughly between my house and my neighbor. It can fall in the back yard and hit nothing, any other direction and there will be structural damage.
Wife got some pictures, there is clearly something wrong with the tree. Here is a far shot, closeups of the crack coming soon:
I was not overly impressed with the arborist. I have a second estimate scheduled. What questions do I need to be asking the expert?
I am considering keeping this tree for firewood. Seems daft to cut it down and haul it off only to turn around and buy a face cord later. Is this something that the pros will usually facilitate? I can handle stacking and splitting, but I need the tree sectioned.
Following up 8 months after the original post: The tree was stone dead this spring. One lonely branch had some green on it but it was clear it was done for. The bark had sloughed off the entire main trunk and was falling off in other places. I had it removed by a second local arborist. This is the place I called for a second opinion last fall. They were charging more than other places, but they gave good advice and were clearly more professional and capable than some dude with a saw and a chipper.