4 Signs That Mean It's Time To Remove A Hollow Tree

8 June 2023
 Categories: , Blog


A hollow-trunked tree isn't necessarily a dead tree. The center of a trunk only provides structural support for the tree, as all the nutrient and water transporting wood is just beneath the bark layer. As long as this layer is intact, a tree can survive. For these reasons, it can be more difficult to determine when a hollow tree should be removed. The following are a few signs that it's time to take the tree down.

1. Vertical Trunk Cracks

Vertical cracks opening up in the trunk indicates that the wood is no longer structurally sound. Cracks form due to stress, often from the weight of the tree or from the natural movement of the trunk. The problem will only become worse as the stress leads to further cracking and the excess cracking further compromises the structural integrity of the tree. Removal is the only safe option.

2. Severe Fungal Growth

A hard-fleshed shelf mushroom or two on the trunk of a hollow tree isn't usually a great concern, although it does mean that the tree is beginning to die and should be monitored closely. The major concern is if there is soft, fleshy fungus and mushrooms sprouting from low on the trunk or from the soil just above the roots. This indicates that the root system is beginning to die due to fungal infection and the tree needs removed.

3. Crown Die-Off

A hollow tree that is otherwise healthy will support a healthy crown of leaves. An occasional dead branch only needs to be pruned out, but there is no need to remove the tree yet. Extensive die-off, on the other hand, shouldn't be ignored. Examples of major die-off that necessitates removal includes dying back of the tips of more than a few branches, or if several major branches have died off and left the crown sparse and weak.

4. Wind Exposure Risk

Sometimes a hollow tree may seem healthy, but its location is problematic. If the tree is exposed to the prevailing winds and there aren't other trees or buildings to shelter it, then it may be at risk of blowing down. Your tree service may recommend staking or cabling it if the tree seems sturdy other than the hollow, otherwise removal may be recommended so the tree doesn't blow down and cause damage in a windstorm.

Contact a tree removal service near you if it's time to remove the hollow tree on your property.