Woodpecker Tree Damage

Prevention And Repair Of Woodpecker Damage

Kingston Woodpecker DamageWoodpeckers that eat insects are much less problematic than woodpeckers that are sap eating. Insect eaters usually only feed or nest in already dead wood and are usually considered more or less harmless to a tree. Sapsucker Woodpeckers however, attack the living wood of healthy trees and will often re-visit the tree to expand the size of the its holes in the search of fresh tree sap. Repeat attacks such as these can girdle branches or the entire tree and ultimately cause it to die. When a Woodpecker damages a perfectly healthy tree it can become a serious problem. Tree damage thats caused by woodpecker's can leave the tree vulnerable to diseases or in some cases, even kill the tree. Due to the health of the tree being at risk, it is very important to stop the woodpecker damage before it kills your valuable trees.

Woodpecker Hole Damage

Discouraging Feeding Sapsucker Woodpecker's

A simple method to discourage sapsuckers is to wrap burlap, or hardware cloth around the area of the sapsucker attack. Tree Guard Deer Repellent has also been known to aid in discouraging a sapsucker if sprayed on the trees tapped area. Remember woodpecker may just choose another neighboring tree as a substitute and sometimes it may be beneficial to sacrifice the already damaged tree to prevent the potential loss of another healthy tree.

Repairing Woodpecker Tree Damage

Woodpecker damage on healthy tree should be promptly repaired to avoid disease from penetrating the tree. Here's a few methods of repairing woodpecker damage and preventing any further damage.

Step 1 - Inspect the overall health of the tree. Check to see if the tree has any insect infestation. If you do find an insect infestation, identify the type of insect and control the bug problem before repairing the woodpecker damage.

Step 2 - Thoroughly wash the tree wounds with soap and water solution. A antibacterial liquid dish soap with water works well. This cleansing will help to reduce the pathogens that may have gotten into the tree by the woodpecker. Be cautious to completely wash all of the remaining soap from the tree wound with fresh clean water. Once tree wounds are washed and rinsed, allow any small scratches or wounds to heal naturally in open air.

Step 3 - If the woodpecker has caused any tree bark to become dislodged and the wounds are fairly recent, tape the bark back on the tree ensuring that the bark is positioned in the same direction that it came off using strapping tape or duct tape. You'll have to leave the taped bark over the wound for at least three months to then check and see if healing has taken place. If the tree wound is still healing, add new tape to the wound and wait for another three months. Once the wound has healed completely, remove all tape.

Step 4 - Wash out any larger cavities that the woodpecker made with soap and water solution. Be sure to remove any debris. If the cavity is large enough or shaped in a way that it may fill with water or snow, then you'll have to drill some holes up into the lower portion of the cavity so any water can be drained. Over time trees will heal themselves , However the woodpecker and/or other potential pests must be kept out. Cover the cavity to prevent the woodpeckers return with a piece of sheet metal or window screen using nails or screws.

Step 5 - Placing tinfoil around a tree that a woodpecker is damaging can help to scare them off so that the tree won't be damaged further.

Additional Notes:

  • When woodpeckers put all their focus on a single tree and begin aggressively feeding from it, this usually indicates illness in the tree or bug infestation problem.

  • Using store bought nest boxes to hang around your yard can help to encourage encourage woodpeckers to use these instead of hollowing out your tree to lay it's eggs.

  • Some woodpecker species will use the same tree every year to drill holes and store acorns. If the tree is removed and replaced with a live healthy tree, the woodpecker will begin to drill the new tree.

  • Never kill or hurt a woodpecker. They are after all just trying to survive and any damage to a tree is normally quite minimal and won't result in the tree dying once properly repaired.

Get First Class Care for Your Trees

The Kingston Tree Services experts at Bert's Tree Service provide professional, quality tree care service throughout Kingston and it's surrounding areas. Call us to receive a free service estimate on your tree project.

Call us anytime at - (613) 376-6015