Q: What is eating holes in our live sourwood tree? What should we do?
A: Jim Rogers, at Nearly Native Nursery, says: “In my personal experience observing woodpecker holes, the size of the chips removed and the rectangular-shaped hole appear to be a new home for Georgia’s largest woodpecker: the pileated woodpecker.
“Most cavity-nesting birds including the powerful pileated woodpecker tend to favor hollow-core or rotten-core trees. They find them by the echo location sounds from hammering on different part of each tree: a form of sonar.
“The second picture appears to reveal a soft core and is probably why the this tree was chosen to build a nest. Pileated woodpeckers tend to nest 15′ or so above ground.
“I would highly value a pair of pileated woodpeckers nesting in my landscape over any tree damage they may cause. The tree will most likely keep on flourishing as it has before.”