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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by DAISYSMURF on December 23, 2005 01:52 PM
Hi all! It's been a while!! There use to be a pest management forum but I dont see it so I' m gonna ask here. Something is attacking by maple tree. I've noticed in the past small holes in the trunk less than the diameter of a pencil. They go straight across four or five in a row. Could this be woodpeckers and if so will they damage the over all health of the tree? Its scarred pretty badly and today was bleeding badly as well. I've never known woodpeckers to peck at the trunk of the tree, but then again I don't know much about them!
by Longy on December 24, 2005 01:58 AM
More likely it's a borer.
Do the holes go in very far? Poke a bit of wire in to see.
Is there wood dust or fines at the entrance?
Is there any webbing at the entrance?

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The secret is the soil.
by peppereater on December 24, 2005 11:43 PM
Holes that go across in a line are caused by sapsuckers, in my area primarily the yellowbellied sapsucker, which, I think, are technically woodpeckers. They do no permanent damage to the tree.
by DAISYSMURF on December 30, 2005 12:21 PM
I have taken a closer look at the holes. There is no webbing, dust or anything at the entrance. And they don't go in very far that I can see, maybe a millimeter, but I'm not good at judging!! As for what is coming out of the holes, it appears to be just water, not thick like I'm thinking sap is. My dad mentioned woodpeckers, but I don't know that he saw or heard any but just that he mentioned them. What comfuses me is that some of the holes are so far down on the trunk, where would the woodpecker perch?! They start at chest level and go up the trunk as far as I can see.
by Thornius on December 30, 2005 03:01 PM
I am the woodpecker EXPERT here, LOL. You have a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker that migrate to the Southern U.S. in the Winter. They make parallel rings of pencil diameter holes around the trunks of trees and then return in a few days to drink the sap and insects that gather in the holes. The holes do NO damage to the trees and may, in fact, be beneficial. These are adorable woodpeckers and are MUCH to be desired and cherished. Here are a couple of pictures of the bird itself and its handiwork that I took in trees in my yard.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Sapsucker Hole Rings

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A bird in the hand......can sometimes be a mess.

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