Tree Wound Question - Live Oak

Hi Folks,
I have a large live oak that splits into 4 main branches at the top of the trunk. In the middle of the top of the trunk is a 1-2 gallon sized cavity. Debris had been building in the cavity and several plants were growing in the dirt and humis in the cavity. So I cleaned out the leaves and dirt and pulled the plants out.
Now, I have this pit in the tree that holds at least a gallon of water. In this part of Florida, that is a huge mosquito breeding ground. I've read that fillers and sealers are a bad a idea. And that I shouldn't drill a hole to allow the water to drain.
So, I wonder if anyone can suggest the best way to avoid the stagnant water retention in the tree cavity.
Thanks very much,
Jack Coletti St. Petersburg, FL
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If it's a large live oak and valuable to the property, I recommend you call in an arborist and not attempt this on your own.

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wrote: (snip)

Good on you for doing your homework. It is true that filling cavities and/or draining them are discredited practices. Some arborists I've run across have tried covering the opening with wire mesh, then coating that with a weatherproof coating. Others have filled cavities with self-expanding foam (like for house insulation). I'm not sure either one is very helpful, but neither is likely to be harmful.
Your best bet is probably to accept the fact of water in the cavity. If wood is constantly exposed to water, it won't decay. Decay is an aerobic activity, so it is the constant drying/wetting cycle that takes its toll.
As for the mosquitoes, go to the hardware store and check out the insecticides aisle. You should be able to find mosquito dunks. These are small disks of bacteria which kill the mosquito larva while being pretty harmless otherwise. Toss one into the cavity and forget it until you see it has lost effectiveness (sorry, no idea how long one dunk will last before you need a new one).
Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist
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replying to MostlyH2O, presence wrote:
Plant a fern, moss, or elephant ear in the hole... depending on size. The plant will self sanitize the situation; out-competing mold and fungus and generally suck the moisture out of the cavity.
for a larger hole plant a bush... or even another tree :D
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