Can our elm tree be saved?

Asked August 25, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

What can I do with the gaping holes where two stumps have rotted away and are allowing the elements to reach the underground roots of the remaining trunk of an old elm tree? The holes are about a foot deep and were discovered after we had the top of the tree cut town. About two-thirds of it didn't survive the "polar vortex." There is a little leaf action about 10 feet high, which looks a little like suckers, but we were told we should keep it with the thought that it may come back. Do you know of a product that we should pack into the holes to stop the rotting? I also discovered lots of tiny holes in the remaining trunk with little black beetle-looking bugs. It makes me wonder if this tree isn't long for this world. What do you think?

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

Hi Pam,

It sounds like your elm tree may be in some trouble. Here is our fact sheet about tree growth and decay:

There are no products that will help the tree heal itself that you can pack into the hole. In fact, some products can make the decay worse by trapping in moisture.

I would recommend getting an option about the health of the tree from a certified arborist. You can find one through one of these organizations: