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Hollow Trees

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Today we fret over hollow trees, although educational websites say that those trees can be almost as strong as a tree still filled with heartwood. Trees near trafficked areas or buildings should be evaluated by an arborist. But for wildlife, hollows serve as homes for bats, birds, mammals, and reptiles. We’ve been talking about early farmers used sections of blackgum tree hollows to make bee hives. If you want to see a wonderful picture of one, search American Honey Producers, Early Settlers Enjoyed Sweetness of Honey. There is a 1939 photograph of a gentleman in the Smoky Mountains standing next to a bee gum made from a section of a hollow tree. His garb – overalls, boots, coat, hat and his full and thick beard were probably all the protection he needed when he needed to harvest more honey to make life sweeter.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.