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Tree Surgery

Is drilling into an apple tree likely to cause damage?

We are attaching a double swing arm to a mature apple tree in the garden. The carpenter is planning to drill five holes into the tree. Is this likely to cause any damage to the tree at all?

4 Answers from MyBuilder Tree Surgeons

Best Answer

Drilling into any tree will in time kill it,so something not to do.


Answered 15th Sep 2016

Any cuts or holes made to trees can cause damage. Drilling holes into the tree will create entry points for fungal spores, rot and invertebrates. This damage can in time weaken the strength of the branch, and with the weight of a swing arm, it will likely become dangerous, and likely to fall.

If you are intent on attaching something to the branch, first have someone with decent knowledge of trees confirm that the branch is in good health and large enough to sustain the weight over a long period of time.

If you are then confident that the branch is capable of taking the weight, it is best to attach the swing using non-invasive methods (i.e don't drill into the bark).


Answered 4th Oct 2016

I wouldnt recommend it!


Answered 8th Feb 2018

Any drilling holes, work carried out on the tree trunk will over time have an affect on the tree. This is something that is not recommended. Perhaps get a tree surgeon in to help with what options you have.


Answered 8th Mar 2019

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