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Old 02-17-2012, 12:27 PM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,531 posts, read 42,708,506 times
Reputation: 57184


Originally Posted by nitram View Post
It's Mother Nature at work, let her alone, there's a reason for her work.
I agree with you.
Fisheye, I'd be afraid a systemic might hurt the bird.
I don't really care if I must replace the tree, but I just can't take DH's aluminum foil remedy (which seems to work, by the way).
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:52 PM
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,135 posts, read 3,955,456 times
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Wax Myrtles are rather fast-growing weedy trees, anyway. They are a temporary thing for getting quick effect, while the slow-growing permanent trees/large shrubs are growing. At our Southern properties, we have the Wax Myrtles cut to the ground, every few years. Suckers will come up from the roots, and you can let those become new trees or shrubs. Alternately, Grounds Staff keep the Wax Myrtles closely-clipped, which seems to extend the lives of the trunks.

Oh, and the suckers that pop up from the trunks/roots/stumps of Wax Myrtles make ideal, long-lasting foliage for small flower arrangements.

Personally, I think you should enjoy the miracle of having a Woodpecker. Plenty of people wish they still had such things around them.

We had one, once, who would choose a metal 'bump' sign near our house, for tapping-out his mating call. Quite alarming, until we realized what it was.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:49 PM
Location: Kingman AZ
15,371 posts, read 33,759,682 times
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the more important question might be: Do woodpeckers really LAUGH after pecking?
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:33 PM
Location: Virginia
629 posts, read 1,421,576 times
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Originally Posted by TyroneBiggums View Post
A woodpecker in your tree indicates the tree is diseased, dying, or dead.

Keep in mind even though a tree shows leaves, it can still be 'dead.'
This! Hubby is a biologist who studied woodpeckers. Some are on the threatened and endangered list so in his field he had to have knowledge regarding them. So I asked him about this and the first thing he said was they drill on dead or dying trees. So the down side is your myrtle is probably on it's way out..but on the up side you can take down the foil.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:59 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,386 posts, read 50,582,032 times
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I would not wrap the trunk with duct tape, but I have wrapped them with burlap, and a ring of duct tape every few feet to hold it on. This is on a Birch tree that was so damaged that it tipped over so that the top was hitting the ground. With a wire rope cable now holding it straight, it has survived 5 years so far with no further damage, and plenty of new growth. The peckers are still around, often pecking at the metal chimney and corner stop sign but no longer bother the Birch.

Even aluminum foil would help, if left on only during the time of year when the woodpeckers are active. Older trees with bark do not need much air, bark is a dead layer that protects the inner cambium layer where nutrients flow.
I'd be more worried about rot of the bark from lack of air, though it's pretty resistant to decay.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:47 AM
Location: Floribama
13,486 posts, read 29,434,352 times
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Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Well, I just don't know what to believe now. All I know is the aluminum foil my DH wrapped around the tree looks totally stupid.
I had a sapsucker that nearly completely girdled one of my American Hollies. I did the same thing with the tin foil, I left it on till early summer, once the tree starts growing again the wounds will heal over. I really think the birds just need to be broken of the habit of returning to that ONE tree, and the foil does that. Once it encounters that foil several times, it'll pick another tree somewhere else.

I have several old wax myrtles growing in my woods and I have noticed the marks on them too, but they're native and grow like weeds here so I don't bother protecting them. I have never seen one die from the damage though.
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