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Patching tree holes

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
How do I patch up a hole in a tree? I've got one out front of the house that had a large branch cut off years ago. now this spot where the branch was looks like it's being excavated by a critter. how can i seal this up and try and prolong the life of the tree and keep it critter free?
post #2 of 8
good question

they used to fill them with cement

now that you have a hole in your tree, one thing you should do is make sure rain water will drain out of it by drilling a hole in the right spot

as far as plugging it up, i don't know what, if anything, they use these days

offhand i would say some lead flashing cut to fit and fastened with small galvanized lag bolts will be easy to work with, won't ruin a chain saw blade down the load, will keep varmints from nesting in it,and will weather to look fairly inconspicuous

maybe google it up and i bet you hit an arborist's website


a proper pruning cut the first time around goes a long way to prevent this sort of thing

any new pruning cuts should not be treated with anything because it slows down the healing process

if a fresh cut is in a high visibilty area and screams out for something to tone it down, a product called "Lac Balsam" should be used. it is a latex based goop that comes in a tube and helps fresh pruning cuts blend in with the surrounding bark....you would need to find an arborist supply company though
post #3 of 8
I don't know why Durabond 90 (or faster) wouldn't work, it rated for concrete repair. But don't know how big the area is?

I'd probably brush some primer in the concave area first.

Just a thought....
post #4 of 8
dogboy has it right regarding establishing drainage by drilling. It sounds like the damage has been done by improper pruning when the branch was cut off. The good news is that trees can live for many, many years with holes in them. Especially if its a small hole, it does not normally bother the tree as much as it bothers the trees owner. Trees are peculiar in that most of the living tissue in a tree is in the area just below the bark, in the fine twigs, and the leaves. The rest of the tissue is non-living and mainly serves to support the trees struggle to reach adequate light resources, to get water and minerals from the soil and to transport food to the buds, twigs, and new leaves in the spring as the tree breaks dormancy and needs the stored carbohydrates in the root system that it stored last year. So if its a small hole, I would not try to fill it with any foreign substance. If the tree has not been able to contain the damage and a larger hole/internal rot is developing, the best course of action is to establish drainage as dogboy suggested. A tree surgeon could be consulted if this is a high value tree or is in a critical place on your property.
post #5 of 8
Do not fill it with anything you will only due more damage and cause rot, leave it be trees have been around for millions of years, yours will be fine. A tree will actually compartmentalize itself from injury by producing layers of hardened Xylem (wood) wallinging it off from the effected area for more information google CODIT, Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees. Just think you are providing habitat, in your urban ecosystem
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOVO
Do not fill it with anything you will only due more damage and cause rot, leave it be trees have been around for millions of years, yours will be fine. A tree will actually compartmentalize itself from injury by producing layers of hardened Xylem (wood) wallinging it off from the effected area for more information google CODIT, Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees. Just think you are providing habitat, in your urban ecosystem




i guess i should have mentioned that they don't fill cavities in trees anymore

a guy named Shigo did a lot of field testing and docemented his observations and dispelled some myths about tree work a while back
post #7 of 8

Well, it may feel good to say there's no problem, but during those millions of years of evolution, trees rotted, fell on things and died a slow ugly death alone in the forest where no one cared.  It would be better to check the FDA's document, "How to Recognize Hazardous Trees"  (link below) first and think through how far it's gone and how to keep it from getting to bad if you can. If have a background in a numbers-oriented or structural discipline or your inclined that way, you may be able to assess it yourself.  You'll still need to a hire a tree arborist or consult your university extension office if you're going to fix it.

 

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_haz/ht_haz.htm

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOVO View Post

Do not fill it with anything you will only due more damage and cause rot, leave it be trees have been around for millions of years, yours will be fine. A tree will actually compartmentalize itself from injury by producing layers of hardened Xylem (wood) wallinging it off from the effected area for more information google CODIT, Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees. Just think you are providing habitat, in your urban ecosystem

Right you are.

Treat the area with a product that will kill the bugs and mold, etc. Then let the tree heal itself.
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