Live Oak problem

Sumter, SC(Zone 8a)

The bark on several young live oaks are practically covered with these horrible looking holes. What is causing them, and can the tree recover from all this damage?

Thumbnail by donnacreation Thumbnail by donnacreation Thumbnail by donnacreation
Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

I have never seen anything like that. It almost looks like woodpeckers were after insects, maybe the insects did the additional damage. I will be watching this thread to see if anyone has ever seen damage like that.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

If I had to guess, I'd say an insect laid eggs under the bark and the young ate their way out. Let me check with someone and I'll get back to you.
Barb

Sumter, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks, Barb. This tree is only 15-20' from other young oaks, and there are only a few with heavy damage; some are untouched. The affected tree is growing as fast as the others for now. Thanks again, Barb!

This message was edited May 3, 2013 6:33 PM

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Sapsucker damage. Pretty impressive!
Barb

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

I have seen Sapsucker damage that looked like all the smaller round holes, I never knew they could cause such much damage as shown by the much larger odd shaped holes. I just read that normally sap from the tree would heal damaged bark, but that somehow the Sapsucker is able to prevent the hole he makes from healing thus allowing the sap to continue to flow. The article said the holes would never heal and if enough damage is done the tree might actually die. I wonder if this damage was done by one bird or a entire family of Sapsuckers? Have you ever seen the birds when they were on the tree? They are beautiful birds.

This message was edited May 5, 2013 8:20 AM

Sumter, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks for solving the mystery, Barb. I wonder if wrapping the tree in heavy duty aluminum foil would deter the Sapsucker. Think I'll give it a try.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Wowza! That's bad! I found this site about how to control the damage .. they are suggesting using hardware cloth or burlap:

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_sap/sap.htm

Sumter, SC(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the link, MmeX. I think these birds have migrated north for the summer. I definitely plan to use the bird tanglefoot product next fall. I can see how they could kill a tree by destroying its bark. If it's not one thing it's another....

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