Treating Rotted Areas On Oak Tree

Q: I have a large oak tree growing in a ring of stones in my rock patio. The ring has filled in with leaves and dirt over the years. When we removed the debris some decay could be seen at the base in several spots. How do I treat the rotted areas to stop further damage?

A: When you mention rot at the base of a tree standing close to your home, do not take the advice of a lowly scrivener like me. You desperately need a professional tree health assessor. Go to the website of the Georgia Arborist Association ( Search the member directory using the key word “consultations”. Whomever you hire, make sure they have a current International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification number. This assures that you are hiring a trained professional. This is not a job you can delay. I predict that you will be told that the tree is unsound and should be removed. Contact one of the members of the GAA and get at least three bids for the job. Be sure the specifics of the job are spelled out and comparable. Also verify their coverage for liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance. Removing a tree near a home won’t be cheap. But imagine how much it would cost to remove a tree that falls on your house and to then also make repairs to the roof and interior. As the guy on TV says ‘Git ‘er Done!’.

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