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Rotting roots on Oak
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Author:  paulb [ 10 May 2021, 13:03 ]
Post subject:  Rotting roots on Oak

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I have a small oak which appears to have the 3 main roots above the ground starting to rot. The bark over the roots started to split a couple of years back and is getting worse. The wood uncovered is dark and spongy. I am wondering if I should scrape/carve/drill out the soft wood and coat with a wood hardener of some sort. If I do what sort of product would you use? I seem to remember reading somewhere that ordinary super glue would do the job but can't find the article now.

I have a bit of a soft spot fro this tree as its the only one I've managed to grow from an acorn and have it looking half decent! And its taken me 15 years to get this far with it.

Hopefully the photos have attached.

Any advice gratefully received.

Author:  Paul B [Swindon] [ 10 May 2021, 13:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Rotting roots on Oak

Firstly I would address the soil staying too wet and it should help to dry out the base of the tree.
Remove all that moss, it will just hold in the damp. make a cape to go over the top of the pot, then you can adjust the amount of water it is getting, maybe move it to a sheltered area.
Check the drainage holes under what looks like a plastic training pot, they usually aren't very good and can get blocked.

Then when it is drier you can re assess any rot damage

Author:  johnbaz [ 13 May 2021, 00:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Rotting roots on Oak

If you can get the spongy bits to dry then thin Cyano glue will soak in and stabilise it, I had to do it on a twin trunk slating Juniper that had split apart and let water in, The deadwood was really soft until the Superglue soaked in, It's as hard as Lignum now!!

I lashed it together with paracord to try and glue it together but it wouldn't meet correctly for some reason!, I was expecting to get up one morning to find a trunk had come down with no one to shout 'TIMBERRRR'!! :07hysterical:

It's hard now though!


I've been contemplating lopping the pom pom at the top left for a couple of years now to leave the classic triangle :201thumbup:


John :Big Thumb:

Author:  paulb [ 13 May 2021, 14:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: Rotting roots on Oak


Thanks for the replies. Paul, you're right it is a plastic pot but the drainage is fine. The tree is now under cover and watering will be very controlled and as minimal as I can get away with to try and get it as dry as possible. I'm just hoping the rot doesn't go too far under the surface. I've scraped away a fair bit of soil already. Thanks for the superglue tip Johnbaz - thats what I thought i had seen somewhere.

Author:  Gary Jones [ 13 May 2021, 15:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Rotting roots on Oak

I've used Ronseal Wet Rot Wood Hardener before. It does what it says on the tin.

Author:  Brendan [ 13 May 2021, 17:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Rotting roots on Oak

Cyano is great - Toolstation have a good size bottle for About £3.

But it really should be used once the wood is dry. I'd suggest temporarily removing about 1cm of the top of the substrate around the top to realy let that wood dry out. Wait until the summer is nice and hot and give it a few days where you dunk the pot about half way to water it. That way the wood will be ready for the superglue. Do it now any you will just create problems for later.

Author:  paulb [ 15 May 2021, 13:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: Rotting roots on Oak

Thanks for the advice. I've scraped as much of the surface soil as I can without getting too close to the roots so now I'll give it a month or so of not letting it get too wet and then take your route with it Brendan.
Fingers crossed.

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