Wordless Wednesday Puzzle 12-03-2008



Does anyone know what could be doing this to my birch trees?

Is it an insect or perhaps a Woodpecker?

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Will Sig
1 Pamela

I’d guess something in the w/pecker family. It’s small — like a Downy.

Pamelas last blog post..Kite Eating Tree


2 Tricia

It looks like woodpecker marks to me, but I suppose it could also be some kind of boring beetle. Is it all over the trunk or just in one area for the most part?

Tricias last blog post..Attack Kitten!


3 hagar's daughter

I don’t know, but it doesn’t look good. I hope your tree are okay.


4 Beth F

Looks like woodpeckers to me!

Beth Fs last blog post..Wordless Wednesday #6


5 Phylameana

Sorry, no help here.

Phylameanas last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Faerie Ring


6 Liz

My parents have a woodpecker in their yard, I hear him pecking when I visit but I’ve never seen any damage to the trees because of it…I hope you can solve the mystery and save the trees!

Liz@Inventing My Lifes last blog post..Last Leaves II


7 Liz

My parents have a woodpecker in their yard, I hear him pecking when I visit but I’ve never seen any damage to the trees because of it…I hope you can solve the mystery and save the trees!

Liz@Inventing My Lifes last blog post..Last Leaves II


8 Karen

They look like worm holes.


9 JD Thomas

There is a photo of a “Birch tree with many holes made by woodpeckers” at that link and the patterning looks remarkably similar to yours.

There is even a photo of a Woodpecker pecking birch tree.

Techfuns last blog post..The Brady Bill – Fifteen Years Later


10 Atniz

It could be some woodpecker family or type of bird. It doesn’t look good for the tree.


11 Steve

hi Will,
You know I can’t resist a challenge (Is it an insect or perhaps a Woodpecker?). In addition, I saw something very similar at a local part, and in addition it looked like kids had stuck little acorns in many of the holes. The things kids will do, or so I though.
Anyway, I would say it is definately a woodpecker, and maybe an “acorn woodpecker” or a “sapsucker”. Here are two quotes I found.

1. The acorn woodpecker, found in the West and Southwest, is responsible for drilling closely spaced holes just large enough to accommodate one acorn each. Wedging acorns between or beneath roof shakes and filling unscreened rooftop plumbing vents with acorns are also common activities. Widespread damage from nest cavities and acorn holes in utility poles in some regions has necessitated frequent and costly replacement of weakened poles. Similar damage to wooden fence posts can also be a serious problem for some farmers and ranchers. Occasionally, woodpeckers learn that beehives offer an extraordinary food resource and drill into them.

2. Sapsuckers bore a series of parallel rows of 1/4 to 3/8 inch closely spaced holes in the bark of limbs or trunks of healthy trees and use their tongues to remove the sap. The birds usually feed on a few favorite ornamental or fruit trees. Nearby trees of the same species may be untouched. Holes may be enlarged through continued pecking or limb growth, and large patches of bark may be removed or sloughed off. At times, limb and trunk girdling may kill the tree.

Well, I learn something new every day! 😉

Steve, aka the trade show guru

PS. Great picture as always!

Steve | Trade Show Gurus last blog post..King Corn


12 Anna

….I say woodpecker….
Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..My Animal Stories – Lesson Learned About Cats & Dogs


13 Will

Thanks Steve – I was thinking woodpecker as I looked at all the insect damage photos I could find and nothing really matches up. But the sapsucker idea is my thought now. It is on only certain parts of the trees. Plus the following link of Sapsucker damage seems to closely match? What do you think?



14 Steve

hey Will,
Probably the sapsucker based on the photo. I see that your tree is a birch, and the tree in the photo looks like a birch too? If it isn’t a sapsucker, I’d say it’s a woodpecker boring for insects, which I read about also. What amazes me is the pattern which is so well lined up instead of random. Very cool.
~ Steve, aka the “Sherlock Holmes” trade show guru 🙂

Steve | Trade Show Gurus last blog post..King Corn


15 Steve

hey Will,
Looking at your pictures again and then looking at my comment, I realized that it was the other pictures on the internet that I saw that have the perfect grid pattern, though your holes are pretty well lined up. Anyway, I just googled “sapsucker birch” and found an article that makes me really think it’s a sapsucker, and also says what to to about it.
The article title is:
How to Identify and control sapsucker injury on trees
Is this problem new, or have you always had it? Maybe you can update us next year.
~ Steve

Steve | Trade Show Gurus last blog post..King Corn


16 Bob

Man, that sucks, I don’t know about it being a woodpecker, They are loud, neighbors trees had one, you’d hear it.

Bobs last blog post..Journey To The Edge Of The Universe and more Conjunction Images


17 Will

Thanks Steve – I don’t think it is completely new, but I noticed more of it this year. The control methods discussed in that article would be hard as even though the part of the tree where I took the photos is near a roof, much of the tree is out of reach. There re two other nearby birches with similar holes.

Bob – That is a good point, and I have never heard a woodpecker. Nothing else seems to match the damage though.


18 Will

Hey JD – I think you are correct also. I just found your comment in the spam filter today – sorry about that. I thought I had the link filter off for people who have made more than two comments. I’ll have to look at that and see why it trapped your comment.


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