What Causes Large Holes in Tree Trunks?

Tree trunks develop large holes for various reasons. Once you notice one of your trees has a large hole, consider seeking professional help. Nonetheless, it helps to know what creates holes in tree trunks.  

As a top-notch tree service in Alexandria, MN, the crew at Tree Trimmers delves deeper into the reasons for tree trunk cavity formation and highlights what causes large holes in tree trunks.  

what causes large holes in tree trunks

Causes of Large Holes in Tree Trunks  

Common factors leading to tree trunk holes include:  

Natural Events  

Occasionally, natural events like lightning strikes can create large holes in tree trunks. The electric current from a lightning strike can blow apart a tree, leaving vertical splits or a sizeable hole.  

Improper Pruning  

Pruning boosts your tree’s aesthetics, health, and longevity, but only when you do it right. When you trim off a large limb too close to the collar—the place where the branch connects to the trunk—the wound may eventually turn into a large hole. 

Always hire a professional to prune your trees.  

Insect Infestation  

Insects will often cause large holes in trees. These unwanted guests can cause all sorts of damage to a tree’s trunk that may eventually lead to massive voids.  

Adult beetles, for example, may create holes in tree trunks as they make their way inside the tree to lay their eggs, while young beetles or moths can create exit holes as they emerge from the tree after pupation.  

Some species of bark beetles produce pheromones that attract more insects to the host tree. These beetles can also carry spores that cause fungal decay and further enlarge the hole.  

Carpenter ants carve out their homes directly in the tree’s trunk while wood borers burrow into trees such as ash and soft maple.  


What causes large holes in tree trunks? Birds can too. With birds that create holes in trees, woodpeckers and sapsuckers top the list.   

Woodpeckers create rough holes while pecking away at the tree’s bark in search of insects to eat. Sapsuckers, as the name suggests, feed on tree sap.  

Should You Repair These Holes  

Now that you know the reasons for a tree trunk cavity, should you fix them? Through compartmentalization, trees have a unique ability to repair themselves. This process seals off damaged areas, protecting the rest of the tree from infections.  

Sometimes, trying to fix a hole might interfere with the compartmentalization mechanism. Ultimately, understanding large holes in trees makes it easier to take proactive measures.  

Trust Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance  

Now that you know what causes large holes in tree trunks, you need to find a dependable tree care expert that you can count on for all your tree care needs. Trust Tree Trimmers for fast, professional, and quality tree services.  

Connect with us for the following expert tree services and more:  

  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Tree removal  
  • Storm damage  
  • Land and lot clearing  
  • Stump grinding  

Call Tree Trimmers at (218) 205-2229 to get a free estimate for tree service in Underwood, Minnesota, or nearby. Reach out for more information about our professional tree removal services.

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