Silver Maple Tree Rotten Section


Old 12-03-02, 10:18 PM
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Silver Maple Tree Rotten Section

I have an old silver maple tree in my front yard. It is about 35' to 40' tall. The way the tree grows is aggravating but I like having the old tree around. On the trunk section of the tree there is a rotten portion. The rotten area looks to be an old portion of the tree that was cut down sometime ago in the past. If this section of the tree still existed the trunk of the tree would look like a lower case "y". A tree pruner was canvasing my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago looking for work. He brought the rotten section of the tree to my attention by sticking his arm up to his shoulder into the rotten area. The trunk is large in diameter and the rotten hole looks like it travels close to the heart of the tree trunk. When the wood refuse from the rotten hole is inspected it has holes bored in it in that are similar in diameter to a pencil.

Is this tree done for?

The tree does concern me because it is close to my house.

What type of insects could have been eating on the tree for the described hole size? They seemed rather large for termites.

I do not see any other unhealthy areas on the tree, are the termites still in there? The rotten portion looks old and inactive, and I have not seen any bugs on the tree or around the tree on a regular basis. Also when you reach inside the tree no bugs come out on your sleeve.

Can I treat the tree?

Should the tree be cut down altogether or could I get away with topping it to make it shorter?

I am hunting for options other than eliminating the tree if it can be helped.
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Old 12-04-02, 01:17 PM
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Smile Tree surgery

Hi IWD1, Welcome to The DIY Garden forums

Well you did a good job of describing the tree & it's problems.

To repair a tree depends on the health of the tree. Also the age plays an important part, as you would not want to put all the time & money into a tree, with only 4 good years left in a heathly life.

If you have looked at all these things & still think it worth it. You will need to do some searching on tree surgery. Learn the basics & how we clean out the infection. Then when all is clean, & dry you can treat it with Tree wound dressing & fill the cavity with high quality Cement reinforced with metal wire. Chicken wire etc, we use metal just as in a driveway, to keep cracking to a mimimum.

However same as you would look at an old and suffering pet. Do a study of this tree before you decide what to do to repair it. I have not examined the tree, so I am at a loss as weather to advise that you remove & replace this tree or fix it.

This is a shock to the tree so you want to make sure it is worth it. You know have a choice on what type of new young healthy tree you may want to plant there. I believe we should always put our house first, when it comes to trees. So take that with you & do some thinking about, what is best for you & the tree.

I dropped a 45 foot Cherry tree last fall near our house, when I saw the tell tale signs that it had been hit by lightning two weeks before in a bad storm.

As we were cutting it up we saw a hollow stem, about 10 foot from ground level. Had I known that was there, in this tree I would have been removed it sooner to protect my house.

Old 12-04-02, 02:37 PM
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Thanks Marturo,

I do tend to take detail to the critical limit. It is a side effect of my proffession.

I will probably call a tree doctor to give me a prognosis, because if it is left up to my inexperienced eye I will cut it down. I do not want to take the risk of it damaging my house. I appreciate the information on disinfecting and protecting a tree. At least now I know the tree could possibly be cured and it is worth the investment to ask a tree professional. The prognosis from the tree pruner was that the tree was a goner. I didn't know whether to trust him because he was canvassing the neighborhood for business.
Old 12-04-02, 04:51 PM
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Smile Good start.

I think that would be a wise choice.

After all you would not got to a dentist who pulls teeth, as a speciality, to get an opinion on a root canal over an extraction LOL.

Having cut so many trees, I think it's only right today to go that extra mile, to save one if we can.

Having seen 2000 year old popular trees down the road in the Joyce Kylmer National Forest, is a humbling experience. One can only imagine the trees that once grew, in and around our Country.

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