Industry News: Tree Care Tips (Pruning, Water, and More)

Q: Oak tree cavity is rotting--what can be done?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016  

Q: I have a very large, sprawling oak tree. It is green and full, but lost a huge limb--probably from the chain of the tire swing for my daughter. When the limb (about 10" across) fell, it left a large cavity. We cut the jagged part off close to the tree, but the large cavity still remained with rot inside the cavity. What can we do to save it? I was concerned about parasites invading, but did not expect to find it rotting inside the cavity. Please help!

A: It sounds like you have a very old oak tree, and it is actually not uncommon to find decay in these old trees. The cleaning up of the jagged break you did was essential, but from there we need to let the tree close up the hole itself. Water, proper mulching, and spreading rich compost or fertilizer based on soil testing will help the tree improve. Treat the tree like a friend and help it grow! Best of luck!

Responder: Patrick B. Brewer, RCA #543, Austin, TX