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Old 04-23-2019, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,846 posts, read 4,113,314 times
Reputation: 10127

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I have a woodpecker in one of my trees in the frontyard. It has drilled a cavity about 7 feet above the ground, about 4 inches in diameter and he hollowed out a decent-sized cavity inside that hollowed out a good 35-40% toward the center of the tree & goes maybe 6 inches or more deep.

I tried putting foil in front of the opening... at an old house I got woodpeckers to stop pecking at the house that way. But because this is his habitat, he just saw it as an annoyance and pecked at the foil and tore it up into little pieces on the ground.

Is there anything I can do about him, and will he damage or kill the tree?

Last edited by redguard57; 04-23-2019 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,909,703 times
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Why can't people just leave nature alone? Seriously. If he's pounding on your house ok...but please, leave them the trees!

At least you recognize it's his territory...
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:55 PM
 
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Yes. Woodpeckers can cause a tree to become diseased and die. I'm sure it depends much on the type of tree you're talking about.

Bird X makes an electronic woodpecker repeller that is supposed to work well.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,846 posts, read 4,113,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Why can't people just leave nature alone? Seriously. If he's pounding on your house ok...but please, leave them the trees!

At least you recognize it's his territory...
Yeah I don't want to hurt him. I was hoping to put something to make him find another area, some kind of decoy, smell, etc..

My concern is that he's hurting the tree; I was surprised when I looked into the cavity how much was hollowed out. I'm worried it may cause the tree to be weaker in case of high winds or something, or the damage to the tree cause it to become diseased.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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There may be something going on with the tree anyway. Woodpeckers typically choose trees due to an insect infestation.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,846 posts, read 4,113,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
Yes. Woodpeckers can cause a tree to become diseased and die. I'm sure it depends much on the type of tree you're talking about.

Bird X makes an electronic woodpecker repeller that is supposed to work well.
It's a typical pine tree native to the area. My concern is more that it's one of the smaller circumference trees. I'd be less concerned if he had drilled into one of the large trees.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:21 PM
 
12,709 posts, read 17,314,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
It's a typical pine tree native to the area. My concern is more that it's one of the smaller circumference trees. I'd be less concerned if he had drilled into one of the large trees.
You probably know pine trees tend to be fairly brittle and limbs will sometimes break off in the wind so a weaken pine limb could be a problem for anything valuable below the tree.

I believe there are also repellents (spread on or spray on?) that will cause a woodpecker to move on but be aware he may just move to another tree or spot.

The reason I know about the Bird-X thing is that two years ago we had a woodpecker go after after our redwood trim on the second floor of our home in Albuquerque. However, I think he finally moved on due to the ongoing human activity always occurring inside the same wall where he kept digging from the outside.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Virginia
4,892 posts, read 2,508,513 times
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Please just leave him alone. At my house I have a silver maple that is admittedly in bad shape (due to the previous owners' neglect and active damage to it). A woodpecker is excavating a nice-sized hole in one trunk that faces my kitchen. Periodically a black-capped chickadee will check it out to see if it is suitable depth yet for his own nest. Personally I can't wait until the chickadee can move in and raise a family there.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:05 PM
 
1,944 posts, read 634,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Please just leave him alone.

Amen

Just leave him alone

He'll eat bugs before they attack your other trees.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,846 posts, read 4,113,314 times
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For the record, my wife's opinion was "Leave the woodpeckers alone!"

But I'm a bit paranoid about that tree snapping at the mid point where he's weakened it when there are wind gusts. If it fell, some of it would hit the house.
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