Q: In last week’s gardening column, you had a photo of a tree branch stub that was rotting. The trunk of my oak has rotted out near the base of the tree. Can such an extensive trunk rot really be the result of a small branch that rotted out several feet above the ground?
A: Yes, a rotting tree stub (from an improperly pruned tree branch) certainly can cause extensive rotting in the interior of a tree’s trunk. Stub cutting occurs when branches are pruned too far from the stem, leaving a short branch stub.