Strange tree damage

Asked April 24, 2017, 12:38 PM EDT

I have an evergreen tree/bush in my yard that has recently begun to have entire branches dying off. I started cutting out the dead limbs and noticed a pattern of small shallow holes in the affected branches. There are other branches and trunks with the same patterned damage that have not yet died off. I am wondering if the tree is doomed or if there is something I can do to stop the problem?

Frederick County Maryland wildlife woodpecker sapsucker sapsucker damage tree trunk holes

1 Response

This looks like sapsucker feeding holes. These woodpeckers feed on the sap that oozes into the holes and also the insects that get stuck in it. Typically, these holes do not harm the tree, even though there are so many holes it seems like they would. Here is info from our website: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/woodpeckers-and-sapsuckers

ECN