Woodpecker Lives In My Tulip Poplar – Does This Mean Its Hollow/Diseased?

Q: Over Thanksgiving, a woodpecker started making a nest in a tulip poplar over our house. Does this indicate that the tree is hollow/diseased and a threat to the house? 

A: It is hard for me to assess the threat to your house but the tree is very likely hollow between the two nest entrances. This is a characteristic pattern for pileated woodpecker homes. They typically abandon the roost after a year but screech owls and squirrels may move in instead. Your tree was probably already rotten/hollow before the bird started excavating. Even without the woodpecker, it was/is likely to break at that point. Consider hiring an ISA certified arborist to take a look: www.georgiaarborist.org.

  • Advertisement