Dealing with a Hollow Tree Trunk: What You Should Do

Do you have a hollow tree trunk in your garden? Should you leave it there or remove it? In this post, Petrarca Landcare, the tree service experts in Massillon, OH, explain what to do with a hollow trunk. 

Do You Need to Remove a Hollow Trunk? 

Most of us grew up with magical tales about fairies playing around old stumps. The reality is, however, there are risks associated with keeping dead wood in your yard. If the tree is still alive, it is a different story. Live trees can stabilize themselves by sprouting new growth. Dead, broken trees cannot recover, leaving the hollow tree trunk at risk of falling over.  

The Benefits of Keeping the Trunk in Place

A hollow trunk can sometimes be a good thing. If the tree survives the cause, it can be beneficial in strong winds because the tree is more flexible. 

These trunks also provide shelters for wildlife: owls and other birds may nest in the space; bats can use the trunk as a home; and hedgehogs can use the cozy space when they hibernate. It’s also ideal for snakes, epiphytes, fungi, and other invertebrates. Therefore, a trunk can become a valuable addition to the natural biome. 

The Disadvantages of Keeping the Trunk in Place

The stump may get in the way of maintaining your garden. If it is too close to a building, there is a danger of it rotting and falling over. Additionally, you cannot control which wildlife makes a home there. You might hope to provide a habitat for owls but later find you’ve attracted termites or rats instead. 

What to Do When You Have a Hollow Tree Trunk

Getting professional advice is essential when it comes to making the best decision with hollow trunks. Take the following steps if you have a problematic trunk on your property:

Call Us for an Inspection

A tree with a hollow can still grow and thrive. However, it’s critical to have a professional tree risk assessment to ensure it doesn’t pose a threat. 

Our professional arborist will inspect the tree for damage, disease, and pest infestation. They look at the species of trees and evaluate if they are structurally sound and whether or not you need to remove them. They will try to save the tree using techniques such as: 

  • Pest management
  • Cabling
  • Limb support
  • Disease control
  • Pruning

They will also try to determine the reason for the hollow developing in the first place and if there is any internal decay. Doing so can help prevent it from happening to other trees. 


If the tree is at risk of falling or infested, we will recommend removal sooner rather than later. We may shore up the tree with cabling in the interim, but we will schedule the removal as soon as possible. If the tree is quite large, please don’t attempt to remove it yourself. A hollow trunk is heavy and can cause damage if it falls unexpectedly.

Caring for the Tree

In the case where you can save the tree, it’s crucial to provide it with the best support. Our team can advise you on the best practices in this instance. Some advice may be to fill the hole with concrete, but this will weaken the tree and cause further deterioration, so we don’t recommend it.

Contact Your Professional Team for the Right Advice 

Are you dealing with a hollow tree trunk or need advice on something else, like how to trim a palm tree trunk? Contact Petrarca Landcare at (330) 933-0562 to schedule a professional consultation and get the right advice today!

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