The tree in our yard lost 2 large limbs in recent wind storms and the limbs and the exposed heart or centre of the trunk were hollow! Some say all willows are hollow and this is why they loose limbs so easily. Is this true or is the tree really dying and therefore should be removed for safety.
It is not unusual for older trees to have hollow trunks. The centre of a tree trunk (i.e. heartwood) is made of dead cells that provide structural support and act as storage for food, gums, and resins. It is the sapwood, which surround the heartwood, that keeps a tree alive by acting as conduit of water and nutrients. While a tree can survive without its heartwood, structurally it becomes more vulnerable to environmental injury. Willow trees are also notoriously weak-wooded. It is therefore advisable to engage a certified arborist to examine your tree to assess its health and safety. If you need help finding a certified arborist, you may want to begin your search at the Ontario ISA webpage.