Woodpeckers do their damage by pecking into the bark of trees looking for boring insects beneath the bark. They can hear the critters moving around but usually cannot find them with the first hole. So, they make one hole and then move a little horizontally and make another one until they are successful. That is why you will see a serious of horizontal holes in the bark of trees that are being bothered by woodpeckers.

This is one of those situations where the woodpecker damage is actually a secondary sign of a more serious problem...namely borers. The bird is only interested in the tree if it has these insects working inside it. So, the real problem is the borer which is cutting tunnels in the wood of the tree.

See Borer Insects...

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

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