Tree hollows are a staple in fairy tales and folk lore, often being a portal into another realm.
While the hollow in your tree at home may not be anything fantastic, it can cause concern if the tree is old or ill. Tree hollows are the result of decay that takes place after some type of injury. Hollows aren’t all bad, providing much needed shelter to a variety of different wildlife species.
While the decay reduces the strength of the tree, a healthy tree will develop new growth that helps to compensate for this loss of strength. Ideally, the new growth will add enough strength to keep the tree standing.
If you notice a hollow area in your tree, it is a good idea to get it inspected. Here is what you should do with the hollow tree in your yard:
Get The Tree Inspected
While many trees with hollows are structurally sound and will grow normally, you should consult a professional, ISA certified arborist if the hollow in your tree is cause for concern. Some ISA certified arborists also have specific training and are qualified to perform a tree risk assessment.
A tree risk assessment qualified (TRAQ) arborist will inspect the tree to determine if it is has any structural problems, pests, or disease that will affect its safety and health. Your attending arborist will provide treatment options based on their findings, such as tree cabling and limb support, pest management, pruning, or even removal.
Remove The Tree
You have the option of removing the tree if it has a hollow in it. This is especially true if the tree is experiencing structural problems that put it at risk of falling. If the tree is dead, you will want to remove it as soon as possible.
Dead limbs and trees attract pests, spread disease, and are a safety hazard. Never attempt to remove a tree yourself. Instead, choose a professional, insured tree company like Hansen’s to remove the tree safely and efficiently.
Stay Away From Poor Tree Care Methods
When caring for a tree with a hollow in it, stay away from poor tree care methods that will exacerbate the problem and harm the tree.
Do not fill the hole with concrete. This will damage the tree further and hinder any healing and bark development. A professional, certified arborist will never recommend harmful tree care practices. Always check their credentials and as questions if you are unsure about something.