Ash woodpecker damage

Asked March 5, 2018, 2:55 PM EST

Is this normal or should I be concerned? I have a suet feeder with 5-9 birds visiting throughout the year. Mostly downy woodpeckers. Note red head in first picture. Tree is two stories high. This has been going on for two years now.

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

The answer is 'it depends'. If you tree is sound and does not have an insect/borer problem, then it has become a habit. Initially woodpeckers do drill into trees searching for insects they can hear under the bark. You may wish to move your suet feeder away from that tree to see if it will lure the birds away. Trying to cover the area with fencing or other material would be next to impossible due to the height and extent of the damage. You do not state what variety of tree that is. If it is an ash, there may be Emerald Ash Borer. I would recommend that you have a certified arborist make an onsite call to assess the damage and health of the tree. You can find one by visiting his web site and clicking on Find An Arborist. You can put in your zip code: