Question of the Week – Number 1: March 8, 2018
“Neil, what is attacking my live oak tree’s trunk, and what can I do to stop it?”
This is the work (“damage” if you care to call it that) of either a sapsucker or a woodpecker – closely related birds.
Things to remember:
• Sapsucker/woodpecker holes will always be in rows around the trunk. Borer (insect) holes will be randomly scattered.
• These holes rarely cause severe damage or death to trees.
• Presence of these birds and the holes they peck is not indicative of any particular problem. It does not suggest that insects are present within the trunk.
• These birds peck holes, then come back later to feed on the sap that flows from them.
• The birds are protected by law, so you can’t do anything to harm them.
• You can make their visits miserable in the meantime by applying the very sticky Tree Tanglefoot product to the trunks where they are most actively pecking.
• Seal the open wounds with a light spray of pruning paint.