Tree hole feaver (フィーバー)

Tree holes are awesome.

A nice tree hole here in Kansas

A nice tree hole here in Kansas

Trees apparently don’t need all that wood in the middle but use the outer perimeters for nutrient and water transport. This is why a tree’s core can rot away, leaving a cavity, while still being quite vigorous and alive.

Of course there are insects, and especially beetles, that specialize (can you specialize on a tree hole microhabitat or are they jest restricted – is there a distinction?) on tree holes.

Back in Ithaca I struggled to find a good tree hole. Here in Kansas they seem to be a bit more abundant.

Me with a lot a tree hole litter

Me with a lot a tree hole litter

And this is what happens when I see a sexy tree hole – like the photo above. I tend to sift the hell out of it.

Inside I found a Lasius and Aphaenogaster nest so I sifted away at them too. I hope to get some guests that are deep in the nest that may not be so easily collected otherwise.

Tree hole litter can be saw-dusty like the one pictured above (you can see the saw-dusty stuff coming out) but still seems to house interesting pselaphines, scydmaenines, omaliines and histerids. Also, because it’s saw-dusty, the litter tends to be on the drier side but still seems to suite those tree hole inhabitants (even dry intolerant staphs).

I will keep you readers updated on the tree hole litter situation. Currently they’re being Berlese funneled to death.


On a different note. I will be taking a very last minute trip to New Mexico, not the old one…, and will be returning on Monday. Wish me luck and I’ll keep you readers posted on how it goes.


4 responses to “Tree hole feaver (フィーバー)

  1. Hi
    I just came upon your blog when researching a cavity I have in a tree in my front yard. It has lots of dark saw dust stuff coming out the bottom. It is in the center of the trunk. What should I do about it? Is there something I should put in there to kill whatever insect is eating the tree? Thanks for any help you might give.

    • taroeldredge

      sorry for the late reply Laurie. i’m not a tree disease expert, but this is most likely tree rot. Most trees experience rot of some sort during their lives. this is why the oldest trees, like the bristle cone pine, live in harsh environments, where fungal infection is less likely.

      there is essentially nothing your or i can do about this, unfortunately. you could bring in an expert but they are usually expensive and will probably have to take a core sample, damaging your tree. even then, there probably isn’t a cure, unless it’s a common a rot that gets attention.

      i would accept it as a way of nature and only worry if the tree looks like it’s no longer solid. the saw dust you see is probably an insect that’s eating the rot, just dead tissue anyways.

      but no worries. the core of a tree is dead, as long as the tree is large enough, hollowing out the center shouldn’t alter the tree structurally, and should interfere with water and nutrient transfer.

      hope this helps and thanks for reading my blog.

  2. gotta love a nice hole…

  3. I have to say that I love your names for each of your sections… tree hole fever… definitely makes me think of sexiness.

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