Downy Woodpecker Killing Trees

ocd_gardenerApril 5, 2011

We have had a downy woodpecker killing trees in our area. One of our smaller trees is dead and now it is doing damage to an old ponderosa pine. We have tried irritape, a fake owl, and nothing seems to keep the bird away. Has anyone used any successful products to get down woodpeckers to leave?

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

A downy? Killing a tree? That little feller? Are you sure that the tree wasn't already on it's way out and bug infested and the downy wasn't just opportunistic? It may even be saving other trees from further insect damage. As for the ponderosa, I have Hairy Woodpeckers and Sapsuckers drilling my Austrian pines and I'm not worried about them, so I surely would not fret over a downy.

tj

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 6:53PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Woodpeckers don't kill trees.

Dan

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:34PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

ocd, though downies can do damage to trees if they are excavating for nesting chambers, it is not all that common....on healthy trees. We more often see this and other woodpeckers on dying or insect riddled trees already in decline.

These woodpeckers can detect borers, for example, that we cannot see and will be very persistent in retrieving them.

If the trees appear to be dying, then I'll suggest that the woodpecker is simply taking advantage of the situation, and not the cause of it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 10:52PM
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tlunberg98_yahoo_ca

I was just curious if woodpeckers kill trees,I have heard so many stories and I would really like to know...

Thanks;Tammy

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 3:06PM
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oceanna(7 WWA)

Woodpeckers only "attack" trees that are already infested with bugs. They eat the bugs. It's the bugs that are killing the trees, not the woodpeckers. The woodpeckers might be rightly viewed as a symptom, not as the cause.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 3:15PM
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