Elephants are attracted to nutrient hotspots created through short duration overnight cattle corralling (hereafter kraaling) in natural rangelands at Debshan, a mixed cattle-wildlife private ranch in central Zimbabwe, causing severe tree damage. We determined the effect of age of nutrient hotspot (i.e., time after kraal use) on elephant use and the extent of tree damage. Elephant use and tree damage were assessed in nutrient hotspots of varying ages (6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 months after kraal use) and in surrounding landscape. We also compared Acacia karroo bark nutrient and soil nutrient concentration between nutrient hotspots (24 months after kraal use) and the surrounding landscape. Elephant use of nutrient hotspots was highest at 12 and 24 months after kraaling. The most severely damaged trees were in the 12-, 24- and 36-month-old nutrient hotspots. Acacia karroo bark nutrient concentrations (nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron) were higher in nutrient hotspots than surrounding vegetation, while soil nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and potassium) were higher in nutrient hotspots than surrounding landscape. We concluded that elephants mostly used nutrient hotspots 12 and 24 months after kraaling, while severe tree damage occurred 12, 24 and 36 months after kraal use.