Finding Concrete in a Tree

Tree surgeons sometimes repair rotted trees with concrete. "Well, imagine my surprise," said the sawmill man. January 27, 2007

Has anyone ever heard of putting concrete in a tree? This white oak is probably 24" and at some point it was filled with concrete. I am assuming to try and stop the rot or something, but a couple feet up in the tree there is no rot and no concrete. Someone must have drilled through the side and injected the concrete. Anyway, I need to get a couple chains sharpened now, and I don't think I will be milling this guy up.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor B:
Actually, it was a fairly common practice to fill up a hollow and protect the tree from further rot and insects, etc. This was a patch that ended up about a foot inside a 36" mesquite that was growing beside an old church in San Antonio, TX. It will stop a saw.

From contributor M:
I got one of those. The white oak I got my hands on is 62" diameter at 10' up. It has concrete and rebar in the butt flair. By the looks of it, the "repair" was done about 25 to 30 years ago.

From contributor J:

Yes, I have seen this in a couple oak trees near Kossie, TX.

From contributor T:
I grew up around a tree surgeon as a kid and remember the technique where they rot was removed and mortar was placed in the wound cavity. The repairman would tool-in marks to make it look like stone had been laid in place. What is funny about this topic is that 30+ years ago, the neighbour's tree in which the repair had been made finally died. During this time span, the repair had grown over and trunk looked like any other silver maple!

A tree expert was hired to fell this maple and they topped it and finally made their way down to the trunk. Well, you know the rest of the story. The fellow went through 3 chains before cutting enough off to snap the tree off with his Bobcat! To say the least, he was glad to be finished with that job!

From contributor P:
Last year I had a call to saw up one log, "16 foot long red oak about 4 feet in diameter." The job was about 100 miles away. I gave a price, got the job, and went. It turned out that the tree was a post oak and was perched four feet off the ground on a pile of firewood. (The main log had not fallen where they had intended.) Hours later, when I was finally able to saw it, I wrecked two blades hitting a tree surgeon's concrete work. In spite of the flexibility of my Peterson swing blade mill, I will admit that concrete wins! It had long been grown over and followed a diagonal trail into the tree. I did get quite a bit of lumber for them, but what an ordeal. Finally had to give the balance up as firewood. All in all, the customer seemed happy enough - maybe happier than I was.