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What Can I Do About Woodpecker Damage on My Trees?

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11 June,2021

What Can I Do About Woodpecker Damage on My Trees?

Catching woodpecker damage is good news and bad news at the same time. On the one hand, it means a woodpecker has been feasting on your tree. This could be to get at the sap inside the tree or to get at the insects in the tree. So, the woodpecker might be helping you out by devouring those pests. Still, the woodpecker damage can expose your tree to disease and infestations. Plus, the woodpecker damage can ruin the appearance of your tree bark. If you have any questions or if you would like to hire an arborist, then call Southern Star Tree Service to get in touch with a friendly representative.

Why Does A Woodpecker Peck?

There are many species of woodpecker. Each has unique characteristics such as its beak size and shape, pecking pattern, food preference, and so on. So, each woodpecker has a different reason for drilling at your trees, but here are some common motives.
Most likely, the woodpecker is going after insects that are in the tree. This means you had an insect problem and now have a woodpecker problem as well. Other woodpeckers feed directly on the tree sap itself.
A woodpecker might also be poking away at your tree to attract a mate, build a nest, and store food. In most cases, woodpecker damage itself is not detrimental to the tree, but the wounds can invite disease and insects. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, the woodpecker damage might be a symptom of an insect problem.

Preventing Woodpecker Damage

An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, so you will be saving significant time and money by being proactive. Why deal with repairing woodpecker damage when you can expend that energy on preventing it from happening in the first place?
We want to first mention that many woodpecker species are protected by state and federal laws. For this reason, we do not recommend killing the woodpecker. Instead, consider these preventative measures:

  • Make sure your trees are not infested with insects. A visual scrutiny of each tree can help but Southern Star Tree Service is ready to help if you prefer a professional inspection.
  • Feed the woodpeckers. They can be a beautiful sight for you and your guests, and they can come in peace – so long as you provide some goodies. Install a woodpecker feeder or plant them some fruit bushes in a designated area.
  • Set up defenses. Use a woodpecker sound deterrent, burlap or bird netting, and decoys to give the intruders a hard time and keep them away.

Repairing Woodpecker Damage

But what to do if the damage has been done? First, you want to identify the woodpecker damage. It will usually be a cluster of precise holes lined up in rows and columns. If the holes are only about an inch, then the tree should be able to take care of its own wounds. For larger woodpecker holes, you may need to apply fungicide to protect the tree from disease. Call Southern Star Tree Service if you would like to consult with an arborist.


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