Is there a way
to stop a tree trunk from rotting at the base? The truth is, it can be
heart-breaking to discover you have a tree that has
It is only
natural to want to do everything you can do to save the tree, which represents
a significant investment of time and money. As well, removing a tree that has
become an integral part of the local landscape or your home’s curb appeal can
leave a gaping hole that is hard to fill.
article, learn what your options are for tree
your tree has become impacted by rot at the base.
How Bad is the Tree Rot?
crucial question you need to answer is about the severity
of the tree rot. Unless you have experience as an arborist, you may
think that dealing with tree rot is as simple as dealing with fruit rot – just
cut out the bad spot and all will be well again.
tree rot is often a lot more complicated than that brown spot on your summer
peach. Visible tree rot may represent the tip of an
iceberg that extends down into the roots and up into the branches.
But you may not know this until after you try to cut out the rot and see what
So if you do decide
to cut out the visible rot, you need to decide whether that leaves enough
substance at the tree base to guard against the tree falling over the next time
a storm blows through.
How Old Is the Tree?
On that topic,
the age of the tree as well as the tree species can impact whether it makes
good sense to try to save the tree.
species have different average lifespans. When a tree nears the end of its
average lifespan, wood decay can develop
on a systemic level.
In old trees,
wood decay starts in the interior and spreads to the outside. So by the time
you see signs of rot, the entire tree has become compromised.
affected tree is large, old and near the end of its typical species lifespan,
trying to save the tree may not be a viable proposition.
How Much of the Trunk Is Affected by Rot?
happen in all kinds of ways. Wildlife, storms, pests and invading fungus can
all cause damage to the tree’s outer protective layer.
As a general
rule of thumb, if the tree is otherwise healthy and still has a few good years
left before old age, and if less than one-quarter
of the outer surface is damaged, the tree can have a good chance of recovering
from a case of rot.
of the wound also matters. Tree rot at the base of the tree is potentially more
dangerous than tree rot that occurs higher up. Here, a shorter, thicker tree is
more likely to survive tree rot at the base.
Can You Keep Moisture Out?
In some cases,
it may be possible to cut out the rot and use tree
paint to seal the wound.
If you take this route, it is vital to keep moisture away from the wound
or additional rot may form.