subscribe
YouTube
Pinterest
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Search

How Do You Repair Rotten Holes in Tree Trunks?

By: Jessie Keith

How Do You Repair Rotten Holes in Tree Trunks?

“My pear tree has some large rotten holes on the trunk. What can I fill these up with (concrete)?” Question from Craig of Big Bar, California

Answers: That is an excellent question. The key is cleaning up trunk holes to stop the rotting process. Concrete won’t cut it (it’s also a chainsaw hazard), but there are some practices and products that will. Wound healing and closure is the goal. Here are my suggestions for treating your peartree trunk holes in four steps.

  1. Gently scrape away the soft, rotted wood in the holes to reveal the living tissue. Take care not to cut into any protective firm wood or living tissue! I recommend wearing Kevlar gloves to protect against potential cuts and using a planting knife to remove any bulk, loose deadwood, and a wood-shaving tool to scrape away dead wood closer to the living tissue. Clean your tools with a 10% bleach solution, before and after work, to avoid potentially spreading disease.
  2. Once the holes are free of dead tissue you can either leave them to naturally heal, if the damage is just peripheral, or you can treat them with an antifungal spray and effective tree-wound sealer.
  3. If you want the extra protection of a fungicide and sealer*, I recommend first spraying the area with liquid copper fungicide spray. Once it has dried, try using quartz-based Tree Bandage, which is promoted by foresters and is said to be breathable and truly protective.
  4. If you want to fill the hole to keep animals out, I suggest using a high-powered stapler to stable a piece of strong screen over the hole. But, if you like animals this step is unnecessary.
*Do not use petroleum-based wound paints. Studies have shown that tree wound paints containing petroleum, latex paint, shellac, and asphalt do not promote healing and wound closure. (Click here for an article about the myths and concerns regarding wound paints.)

Here are other precautionary measures that can be taken to stop any fungal disease:

  1. Free the root crown of excess soil and mulch (tree volcanos), if needed.
  2. Cutaway any dead or dying branches, being sure to clean tools before and after.

I hope that these tips help!

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

Leave a Reply

Content Disclaimer:

This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.

While we have made every effort to ensure the information on this website is reliable, Sun Gro Horticulture is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

Use of this site is subject to express terms of use. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use

View Our Privacy Policy