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Video: How To Properly Handle A Hollow
Read the previous part. ← Care for old-growth trees
How to extend the life of old trees
In the last part, I talked about determining the general condition of an old-growth tree growing on a personal plot. Now we will consider in more detail the issue of caring for a hollow found in the root part of a tree.
There are different ways of leaving. Hollows belong to one of the flaws of trees, and they can be roughly divided into two types. Hollows, which are so extensive that in the full sense of the word it is no longer a hollow, but the corresponding tree shape formed by this defect (see photo 1). And ordinary hollows, having an extensive, possibly to the core, internal cavity and a hole, as an outlet to the outside (see photo 2).
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Long-term observations of trees allow us to conclude that a tree is, in general, a self-sufficient biological object, and a person, acting on a hollow with his own hands, can only help a tree to a small extent. However, there are necessary activities that you really want to do.
First of all, it is necessary to select all rotten wood from the hollow, which is easily chipped and broken off after a little exposure to a hand tool. As a tool, depending on the volume of rotted wood and the size of the hollow, an adze, a cycle, a hoe, a nail puller on the opposite side or an ax welded to a piece of pipe can serve. It is necessary to remove rot to a hard surface that no longer lends itself to your light efforts.
It so happens that almost the entire tree, especially oak trees, is penetrated with fungal hyphae (this is noticeable by the grayish-white film). In this case, sampling wood "to healthy" is a pointless exercise. In this case, we will only physically weaken the trunk and can turn the tree into a “threat tree”. However, with proper care, even such a tree can live for many more years.
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Rotten wood must be selected in order to eliminate the possibility of moisture concentration that contributes to the emergence or development of fungi that destroy the tree. The cleaned, prepared surface is covered with a protective layer that prevents pathogens from infesting the tree.
As practice has shown, “garden anticancer putty” (ZSP) can successfully serve as such a layer. It is produced in Belarus and sold in Russia. It can be heated to a liquid state and applied with a brush over the surface. When hot, the composition is absorbed into the wood, forming a protective layer.
Unlike garden varnish, which is mainly used only for grafting fruit trees, the putty, in addition to its main purpose - healing cancer wounds, also inhibits the growth of pathogenic fungi, protects the wood surface from cracking, and stimulates rapid wound healing.
Over time, under the influence of processes taking place inside the tree, as well as under the influence of external atmospheric factors, cracks appear on the surface of the wood. Experience has shown that the treated surface in this case remains largely protected by an elastic layer of the applied putty.
If the flaw is already a tree shape, then no closure is required. It is only necessary to check the applied layer once or twice a year. Alternatively, you can close the entrance to the hollow, for example, with a sheet of iron followed by painting to match the color of the bark (see photo 3).
In this case, the likelihood of infection with pathogens decreases, and also (especially in the northern territories) we put an obstacle to atmospheric influences. Snow packed into the hollow, penetrated water can, with sharp temperature fluctuations, cause the destruction of wood and the expansion of the hollow (see photo 4). But in recent years, a sharp change in temperatures from plus to minus occurs here up to dozens of times during the winter.
All the above measures for processing the cavities of old trees are quite sufficient, they are not very laborious and will not take much time. And that is exactly what can really help a tree.
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