Damage to My Pecan Tree

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Date Photo Taken: March 29,2011
Location: Snellville, GA
Posted By: ruthbarsich


I just noticed that my prized pecan tree which I planted myself 13 years ago has significant damage. It starts about 3 inches from the ground and continues up about 20 feet on this 25-foot pecan tree. I love this tree! The holes are in an almost perfect circle. It’s almost a pattern, with the circle of holes being about every 6 inches. There is no indication of insects in the tree; and in fact, the higher branches are very young and in excellent condition…yet they too have this damage. The only thing I can think of is a woodpecker, but this was a healthy tree, and the damage goes from the ground practically to the top. There are about 30 or more of these rings of holes.


  1. Lyle Unregistered says:

    These holes are usually created by a species of woodpecker named Yellow-Bellied Sap Sucker (Sphyrapicus varius). The birds create the holes and then lick the sap that weeps from holes. Read here for photos and more information about them http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSA-7561.pdf

    March 30th, 2011 at 6:39 pm
  2. PucaK Registered says:

    We watched a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker work one of our pecan trees in the winter and spring and have similar ‘wonderful’ holes in the bark. In addition, we can see scars where the tree has been worked in paste years. The sapsuckers don’t seem to do any permanent damage.

    As a note of interest, the same sapsucker worked a nearby sugar maple too. The rows of holes were made much closer and there are many more scars than on the pecan – but no permanent damage to that tree either.

    April 24th, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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