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Trees/Oak tree trunk


We live in SE Georgia and have two good size oaks in our front yard, that if it fell it would fall on our house. Just wondering if the trunk can be repaired or does it need to be taken down? There is, what looks like decay on the side toward our home. Can you advise me? Picture attached.

A tree that is living but hollowed out has
experienced heart rot. Just because a tree
has heart rot does not mean it is
hazardous. The rate of recent diameter
growth is a useful index of the probable
safety of any tree with heart rot or
hollowness. Trees that are making good
growth will have thicker sapwood than
those growing slowly and should be less
likely to fail. The condition of callus growth
around wounds is also an indicator. If
growth of the tree is good, callusing will be
good and the bark over the callus will be
thin and healthy in appearance. The crown
of the tree also will be thrifty.
The living cells are just under the bark and the woody area that is decaying is dead cells.
The hazard of a tree with heart rot is
commonly overrated. A tree can stand for
decades, even though hollow or showing
rot, and can suffer up to one-third loss in
strength--equivalent to approximately a 70
percent loss in total wood diameter inside
bark--without materially affecting its safety,
if the weakening defect is heart rot
uncomplicated by other defects. Oaks are generally a low hazard tree.

If the tree foliage and limbs look healthy and the tree is generally up right (not leaning) I would not be too concerned.  Normally a tree this size will start having large limbs break off long before the tree will fall. If limbs break off and the end near the trunk id decayed then I might be concerned. But this tree looks like a fairly young tree and the callus is growing well. I would fertilize the tree with 10-10-10 fertilizer in early fall and then again in the spring as the tree is leaving out. Use 1 lb of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter scattered around the tree and watered in good. Apply the fertilizer just before a rain st9orm and you will not need to water. I think it will be fine.  


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Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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