Birch tree issue

Asked July 9, 2020, 9:44 PM EDT

Can you tell me what is making these holes on our Birch tree? And how do we treat it? I have seen no carpenter bee’s but the sap running out attracts all kinds of bugs and fly’s. Would appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you in advance! Jeff Alexander

Sanilac County Michigan

1 Response

This is damage from a bird in the woodpecker family known as a sapsucker. The insects attracted by this sap are a delicious meal for the returning birds. In a sense, they are trapping insects. Multiple holes can disrupt the cambium in the tree, eventually causing decline. Here is a nice bulletin from Oregon telling you more about them and what you can do. Also...these are really nice photos! Would it be possible for you to send me the originals by email for use later on? If so, my address is: finneran@msu.edu Thank you. https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/pathogen-articles/nonpathogenic-phenomena/recognizing-sapsucker-damage-your-trees