Trees Can Be Hollow and Rotten and Look Great on the Outside

The wind came in fast as the temperature dropped faster. It was really hot the day before, and it actually felt cold by noon the next day. That cold front brought a lot of wind. We did not have any rain, but the wind gusts were scary. Our neighbor has tall oaks in his front yard like we do. He was calling for tree removal in Nassau County early the next morning. His trees are a bit farther away from his house than ours, and it worked out well for him. Two of the four of them came down. One snapped off about 15 feet up the trunk. They were both rotten inside.

Trees stay alive by pumping water and nutrients up the outer layer just under the bark. The whole rest of the inside of a tree can be missing and the tree can still live. Normally the dead wood inside is solid and gives strength to the tree. If it is rotted away or eaten away, it compromises the strength of the tree. The thing is that you cannot tell by looking at the outside of a tree. A trained arborist needs to take core samples to tell. The rotted trees that fell were obviously in bad shape. The other two on his property looked good, but the core samples revealed otherwise. All four trees needed to be removed.

I asked the arborist to check our trees. Every single one of them was rotted at the core. The guy told me that the proof would be revealed when they were cut down or fell down. We decided to have them cut down. He was not kidding or just trying to make some money. The inside for many feet up was just a hollowed out core. However, on the outside the trees looked healthy. They had full canopies of leaves and intact bark. It is a good idea to get trees, especially tall, older trees inspected.