pecan tree

Asked August 11, 2016, 2:38 PM EDT

We live in Albemarle County and have two mature pecan trees on our property. The bark has small holes in circles around the trunk, I am assuming from birds pecking for insects. Will this kill the tree and is there anything I can do? I am attaching a photo. Thanks! Kathy Graves

Albemarle County Virginia

2 Responses

You have properly identified the source of the holes on your pecan tree trunks. Woodpeckers and sapsuckers commonly create these orderly rows of holes around trunks for the purpose of attracting grub-laying insects.

The damage is only rarely severe enough to threaten the integrity and health of otherwise healthy pecan trees. Certain varieties with thin, platy bark are occasionally damaged, but your tree appears to have tough, rugged bark.

The only practical thing you could do, would be to wrap the trunk is wire mesh, but that in of itself would be as unsightly as the holes themselves.

Thank you so much, your response was a relief!