Trees get cavities, too

This tree is one of several on campus that have been filled with concrete to strengthen them and prevent water from pooling and further rotting the wood. The concrete is sectioned off with fibers to look like brick. University Forester Marvin Pettway says that the procedure currently is frowned on by foresters and horticulturalists and not commonly done any more. There is some doubt, he says, whether filling a cavity with concrete helps or actually leads to more decay. 'We use these trees as an example and a learning tool now,' Pettway says. The most recent tree-filling on campus was about five years ago.

Pettway says that there are definite disadvantages to the procedure. Recently, a dead tree that had been similarly filled was removed from the back yard of the Presidentıs House. The 20-foot concrete column that ran down its center made quite a chore for grounds personnel. Photo by Bob Kalmbach