Tree Problems
Q.

Dead Tree?

Anonymous added on July 28, 2011 | Answered

My friend had a neighbor's tree fall on the roof of their guest house. The neighbors had called a tree service to cut it down as they were concerned with its appearance. The tree fell the day before the tree folks arrived. There were green leaves on the tree but the tree was hollow when the insurance adjuster took a picture. Can a tree have green leaves and be dead? The insurance adjuster said the tree was not dead from his visual inspection. What documentation can be found that would support the fact that a dying/dead tree could have green leaves?

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 28, 2011

A tree can be hollow and still be alive. In trees, only the outer inch or two of the tree is truly alive. The heartwood is, for intent and purposes, dead. A tree can live for decades with sections of its heartwood missing. That being said, a tree that was missing too much of the heartwood would have a hard time supporting its own weight. If the tree was hollow due to rot, the rot may have slowly eat away the heartwood until the tree was just not able to hold itself up.

Here are some articles on this subject:
http://hort.ufl.edu/woody/Hollow2.shtml
http://hastings.berkeley.edu/OakStory/Fungus.html
http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/2002/071302.html

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