Maple Tree With Hole In Trunk Question

Jul 5, 2019
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United States
Hello All!
I hope this note finds everyone well & enjoying today!

We have a maple tree which I think is a silver maple. It has developed a hole in the trunk, near the base of the tree.
The hole is about 2-1/2" diameter and a probe inserted in the hole shows it extends to about the center of the trunk. The probe returns with wet, black crumbly material. No insects came out with the material. A finger dig in the hole also lets me remove the crumbly stuff.

Photos are attached.

I have read on line about six dozen "facts" about what should be done to save the tree- if anything. They range from shooting tar inside to pasting it closed with mortar to putting a sheet metal flap over the hole to give up and let the insects eat the tree until it falls.

I'd like to save the tree, as it provides quite a nice home and refuge for many squirrels and birds. I'd also like it not to fall, as two garages and one shed will be quite damaged. I've seen many maple trees in the neighborhood fall over the last several years. Each had a hollow trunk. I don't know if the hollow was from a hole like my tree has or simple end-of-life-cycle degradation.

Should I do anything to try to keep the insects out? Should I seal the hole with something? Or, is the tree OK as-is?

Thanks For Helping me decide what to do. I appreciate your knowledge!

Enjoy This Day!
A) Close Up of Hole.JPG
B) Hole Diameter.JPG
C) Hole Size Relationship To Trunk.JPG


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