Why Are There Holes In My Tree And Will it Survive?

Image of a tree hole in Austin, TX

Think to yourself, how often do you notice a hole in a tree on your property? Many tree owners probably notice tree holes. Shocking right? Like many tree owners, you may feel that the things that you are noticing may be concerning.

Several trees may develop hollows (also known as holes) due to natural events such as storms, human interference, or sometimes even animals. These holes may not always be a cause for concern, but they will definitely change the appearance slightly and also attract pests.

Small holes that are caused by insects can go undetected but the large hole that is caused by storm damage or animals may be easier for you to spot. Let’s take a moment to dive deeper into some of the reasons as to why you may see holes in your trees and the probability of survival!

My Tree Has Holes But Why?

Weather, humans, and animals are the 3 main culprits of holes that you may see in your trees.

If you notice that your tree has small holes, then the most likely cause will be due to insects. Can you guess what causes those larger holes that you see? if you guessed weather or birds … you are correct!

Is a tree that has holes dangerous to my tree and, if so then what types of holes are those?

Holes… Are They A Problem For My Tree?

Tree holes caused by insects

The one thing that you must note is that the size of the whole is very important to know.

It is said that smaller holes have a lesser impact on the health of the tree. This is even more true if the tree is strong, stable, and healthy. If you have a damaged tree due to decay, weather, infestation, or lack of nutrients, then these small unattractive holes may start to cause issues for your tree.

Larger holes, look like the tree has caved in on itself. A great example would be tree hollows. Hollows don’t necessarily mean that the tree is permanently damaged. They can be caused by unhealed holes, and new fresh tree bark coming in around the edges of the wound.

There is a small chance that a tree will fall if the amount of wood near the trunk is not enough to support the rest of the tree. Oftentimes, the wood that is dead may decay and living wood will remain which in turn gives the tree a true shot at survival even if it has a cavity.

The structural integrity of the tree will ultimately determine the life expectancy since they are resilient and can overcome damages caused by lack of water, infestations, and decay. Now don’t worry these all can be managed with no help from you.

So time to dig a bit deeper. Are you ready?

So Why Are There Holes?

1. Tapping For Sap.

Do you know where your syrup comes from? That right good ole trees. Many homeowners can tap their trees easily. When tapping a tree, The hole is usually not big enough to damage the tree as it is roughly 2 to 4 feet off the ground. This ensures that the bottom or base of the tree is not overwhelmed. The tap itself only goes in a few inches into the tree. If the tree is bored or tapped incorrectly then it may cause damage to your tree.

2. Holes From Insects That Like To Bore.

Just like birds that love to peck their way through your tree to find grub ( Insects), the insect’s crawl below the bark of the tree and into the wood.

Beetles, moths, wasps, and other species of insects are natural borers and may be causing some of those tiny tree holes. They are one of the reasons why having a tree protectant or insect killer or fertilizer will help to prevent damage.

Now let’s talk about the holes from birds like the woodpecker

3. The Woodpecker.

Woodpecker making a tree hole in Austin, TX

Did you know that these birds have impeccable hearing? Woodpeckers can hear insects that are under the bark and through the wood. These beautiful birdies use their super long beaks to tap through the wood to eat the bugs  inside. Woodpeckers typically prefer healthy, solid bark and wood. But that is not all. They also seek out parts of the tree that have already seen decay because it becomes easier for them.

4. Winter Storms.

During a storm, tree branches are highly susceptible to being broken off which causes the most damage and a tree hole. When you think about a storm, strong winds and water thrashed the trees way that ends up creating a hole because of the intensity. When a branch is ripped off, The distress and size of the hole mean that your tree may take longer to recover. Don’t be surprised if the damage alone results in no recovery.

A tree can survive with holes but there has to be a good amount of structural integrity left. Ensure that there is secure and stable wood at the trunk of the tree. the trunk has to support the weight of the tree.

Sometimes a limb that has been ripped off due to a storm and decay will spread. On the upside, trees have a really good chance at survival even though they may have storm damage. You can ensure the tree will make strides during the recovery by spraying for insects and giving it fertilizer. Doing nothing will mark your tree for death for sure.

What Should I do… My Tree Has A Large Hole

Fill the hole if you can. Some people utilize cement as a common practice but you should know that this may cause problems later down the line. But something is better than nothing!

If you have this large ugly hole in your tree, You may be tempted to fill it to prevent excessive water damage. Before you do, understand that cement is not usually recommended because it causes more harm to the tree.

If you are concerned about the condition of your trees and need help, the best course of action is for you to take steps to help keep your tree as safe and healthy.

Contact us here at Wilder Tree Company. We can take the guesswork out and give you the correct and safest solution to your tree’s problems.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *