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Dealing w/ Tree Cavities & Wildlife

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From: Chrissy Swanson
Geneva, IL
Hi. One of my very large trees has 3 cavities which I have been patiently waiting for my tree to naturally fill. However, this is not happening thanks to area wildlife. It has been suggested to me that I fill the cavities with soft sand and seal the cavity opening with tar to keep moisture and creatures out of the cavity. Is this an option or would a better option be to fill the cavity with sand and cover the opening with a copper screen?

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Chrissy:

Here's my $0.02 -- don't fill in the holes with sand, cement, bricks, or tar. Filling the cavities is not going to prevent rot, so why bother!

Simply install a metal/mesh screen at the entrance to the cavity to prohibit wildlife use.

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