Several horizontal rows of bore holes in lower trunk of a spruce tree

Asked May 3, 2018, 1:38 PM EDT

I have a large spruce tree with a series of horizontal rows of boreholes, about 1/4" diameter ovals. There appear to be about five bands of holes, on the shady side of the tree - photo attached. Diagnosis? Prognosis? Thanks

Anne Arundel County Maryland wildlife sapsucker damage trees

1 Response

The horizontal rows of holes are the work of sapsucker birds. Typically, these holes are not harmful, but some trees or shrubs may die if holes are extensive enough to girdle the trunk or stem. Trees can tolerate much more sapsucker pecking than is pictured in your photo. Your tree should be fine. You do not need to take any steps to prevent the sapsucker feeding. Here is our webpage about this, which does include preventive measures if you're so inclined: