SAPSUCKER DAMAGE. The yellow-bellied sapsucker is a member of the woodpecker family. This migratory bird, about the size of a starling, is present in the Chicago area during April and again in September and October. An individual sapsucker often picks a favorite tree and returns to it repeatedly.


Sapsuckers are notorious for damaging thin barked trees like birch. The holes are drilled (pecked) in horizontal and vertical rows. The sapsuckers are after the sap of course but will feed on the insects that subsequently show up. The red-breasted sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) is probably the culprit here in western Washington.

These holes are referred to as sap wells. Sapsucker and woodpecker damage is usually found on trees that are stressed from some sort of disease or physical wounds. Sapsuckers are the only member of the woodpecker family that causes this type of extensive damage. You can determine if the damage was caused by Sapsuckers as the bored holes will be in neat rows, either arranged vertically or horizontally, and holes are ¼ inch in diameter.

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Sapsucker holes on sweetgum. bands of round drill holes (Figure 3 and Figure 4) or Sapsucker damage on hardwood tree trunk - many of the wounds have recovered (USDA Forest Service - Region 8 - Southern Archive, USDA Forest Service, … Itasca County Minnesota sapsucker damage woodpeckers submitted almost 3 years ago. Several horizontal rows of bore holes in lower trunk of a spruce tree Anne Arundel County Maryland wildlife trees sapsucker damage submitted almost 3 years ago. 2 days ago A pair of yellow-belled sapsuckers collecting insects at sap well to feed their young. © 2011 Garth McElroy 2017-02-03 2017-05-04 Sounds like an invasion of harmful, tree-killing insects, but sapsuckers–a type of woodpecker–are a common bird in Washington State.

Another woodpecker, the yellow- bellied sapsucker, drills neat rows of holes into trunk, it made me wonder, 'Why doesn't it break its neck or damage its brain?

Pecans and maples are other favorite targets. The sapsucker pecks a small hole in the bark and licks the sap that oozes out.

PS I have seen people put window screen over small areas of sapsucker damage but not sure how to scare them off of an entire big tree. Metallic tape?

Sapsucker damage

These woodpeckers prefer relatively moist forests with either coniferous or mixed coniferous and deciduous trees, particularly aspens, ponderosa pines, spruces, and hemlocks. Red-breasted sapsuckers are found year-round along the Pacific coast from southern Alaska through coastal British Sapsucker definition is - any of a genus (Sphyrapicus) of North American woodpeckers that drill holes in trees in order to obtain sap and insects for food.

Sapsucker damage

But in most cases, the damage is caused by birds. Healthy trees can withstand the minor damage woodpeckers cause unless trunks or limbs receive girdling injuries. This is rare and would generally only happen with sapsucker damage since these birds create horizontal or vertical rows of holes in their search for sap and the insects that subsequently get trapped in that sap. 2017-02-03 · After learning that Sapsucker damage is not usually harmful, most homeowners opt to not control the birds’ feeding. However, if the aesthetic damage is not acceptable in your landscape, there are a few semi-effective control options and a host of other, less-effective home remedies. Sapsucker damage is sometimes confused with borer damage. Borers usually leave sawdust, whereas sapsuckers do not.
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Sapsucker holes on Figure 4. Sapsucker holes on pecan. Figure 5. Sapsucker holes on sweetgum.

NE -136. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,  May 15, 2014 Pamela Corle-Bennett gardening column: the damage done by yellow-bellied sapsuckers on trees, and carpenter bees.
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Sapsucker damage

Aug 30, 2016 Identifying Sapsucker Damage. Puncture wounds and resulting sap flow on branches and trunks of trees are the most obvious symptoms of 

can i paint or seal the holes some way.