Speaking of trees... what is this? (I know my fish, but nothing about what comes from the ground)
Is there another tree growing on the backside? I see red cedar foliage but not cedar bark on the trunk. The trunk brings a silver maple to mind.
edit: Looking again, I think I do see maple leaves at the left side of the photo. If they are from the bigger tree, it'd say it's a silver maple.
Tree water and nutrients travel thru bark and immediate layer beneath bark. Rest of trunk is dead wood. Hollow cylinder nearly as strong as solid cylinder - question is, how "nearly" compared to forces on it.
But back to original questions about the practice of planting two Sycamores at the entrance to homesteads......