Hollowing Trunk On Dogwood - Knowledgebase Question

Mt Holly, NJ
Avatar for jimandtee
Question by jimandtee
May 27, 2000
We moved into our first home six months ago, and
inherited some beautiful flowers,shrubs and trees, including a lovely pink dogwood in our
backyard. This spring it flowered gorgeous pink
flowers,then turned over to all green foliage
with no problems. It is approxiamately 18-20
feet high,however we are unsure of the age--
the house itself is 45 yrs old. The only thing
we have found unusual about the tree,is it's
trunk. It appears to be "hollow" from about soil
level to 1 1/2 feet up.It has multiple trunks,
so to speak,not just one big thick one as most
other trees...it sort of spreads out from the
earth in 3 or 4 different directions,and if you
look directly down the center of it all,it is
"hollowed" out for a short way up,and then closes up. It has not worsened or changed in any
way since the very first time we saw the tree
before purchasing the house,so we are reluctant
to think it is an animal or disease,but we are
novices and unsure.As I mentioned before,it did
bloom beautifully and turned over with healthy
green foliage,with no signs of "intruders".
Our concern is to handle this correctly if there
is anything at all to be done..we've grown
extremely fond of the dogwood,and want it around
for a long time to come.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
Sincerely, Theresa Farrell.

Answer from NGA
May 27, 2000
Unfortunately, any big hole in a tree trunk is always a bad sign. Whether the problem will become critical and kill the tree sooner or later on depends on the cause of the hole. Generally, holes no matter what the source originally act as conduits for infection and infestation and thus ultimately weaken the tree and make it dangerous. I would strongly suggest you consult with a professionally trained arborist about the prognosis (and safety) of this tree.

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