Two years ago in July, during an insignificant thunderstorm, the poplar was struck by lightning, which burned a strip from the bottom to almost the top of the tree, in addition to scaring at least ten years off my life.
We removed the fried television sets and computers and repaired the rest. The tree looked fine.
Then, last year, I went out to the backyard to see this huge fungus growing about eye level. Fungi, of course, will not grow on living tissue, so my heart fell to my stomach and I feared for that tree.
Last year, a few limbs didn't get leaves in the spring. This year, there were a few more that remained bare. I am not ready to remove the whole tree yet, so Saturday, we had a tree service team remove the dead branches before they fell on something important, like me or my dog.
When he was finished, the tree trimmer said that the tree was basically healthy and might last fifty more years. If it does, someone else will have to deal with it; pretty sure I won't last that long.