Woodpeckers and Emerald Ash Borer
At the Northern Green conference in January of 2017 Mark Abrahamson, Assistant Director of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, presented copious evidence of the direct correlation between woodpecker damage to ash trees and an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation. Woodpecker damage is described in two ways:
- Flecking, vertical strips of bark are missing
- Pecking, making holes in trunk
The photos show both fresh pecking and flecking caused by the Downy woodpecker in the picture, on the tree outside my office in the Seward Neighborhood of Minneapolis.
While researching this topic, I found references mentioning the helpfulness of wood peckers to trees to manage insect infestations. I have not seen woodpeckers damage to trees that ever helped a tree. But woodpeckers need habitat too – Hopefully not your siding!
Board Certified Master Arborist