What are these holes in my tree??

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Kiah, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    Can anyone identify what the cause of these holes might be? This is a 4 year old Snowbird Hawthorne tree, it is located east of Osoyoos BC on Anarchist Mountain at our cabin, could it be some sort of beetle? I am new to this forum so if this is the wrong place to post any suggestions would be appreciated.
     

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  2. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Might be the work of a woodpecker.
     
  3. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    We have a pond right next to it swarming with what appear to be leafcutter bees perhaps they are trying to nest there
     
  4. ian66

    ian66 Active Member

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  5. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    Do you think it can be saved at this point if we wrap it?
     
  6. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    You could try a piece of tin. The thing is though, the woodpecker is eating bugs that have attacked your tree.

    Is some-thing stressing your tree? Whatever changed around the tree before you noticed the damage, should be removed and put back the way it was.
     
  7. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    It looks healthy otherwise, the only change is the leafcutter bees...
     
  8. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    I really don't think it's leafcutter bees. It's more likely a beetle of some kind.
     
  9. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    What can I do about that? Spray of some kind?
     
  10. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    Insecticides that would have controlled that type of tunneling insect are now banned in BC. As well, I'm not aware of the pesticide bylaws in the Osoyoos region as I am in Pitt Meadows and service the lower mainland where most municipalities now have outright bans. I am a trained pesticide applicator and do know about the old school/banned products first hand.

    That's why I asked if there was a change to the area around the tree? Raising the soil level with rocks and soil for gardens can stress a tree or shrub.
    You can check this out: IPM Integrated Pest Management for non-toxic solutions

    And although you are near a body of water, Osoyoos is basically a desert. You could also have a stress condition brought upon by a lack of water.

    Perhaps the next time you're up there, hire an certified arborist who can assess the conditions and tree health first hand.
     
  11. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    I am on a mountaintop so I probably have to do it myself but you can still get pesticides here, I'll go to the local nursery and see if I can get some advice there, it looks pretty robust and have been growing well this is the first sign of trouble, thank you so much that was very helpful.
     
  12. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    We used to use systemic insecticides that were painted onto the trunk of the tree. That way the poison isn't being sprayed all over the place. Most of these products are unavailable to home owners. By all means enquire at a garden center with a senior staff member who has their "pesticide dispensers license." Home Depot will be of no use. You may have to go to Penticton

    Once again, you may need the services of a certified arborist or a horticulturist, who is a "licensed pesticide applicator" in B.C. to apply any-thing you might be able to use.

    I do recommend IPM.
     
  13. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Those holes were most likely made by a Red-breasted Sapsucker, which is quite common in BC. Beetles don't make holes in rows, and pesticides won't prevent further damage. The best thing to do is to wrap the trunk in something that will exclude the bird. A couple of loose layers of chicken wire would work quite well. I wouldn't use anything that will trap moisture on the bark; you want to keep it as dry as possible to promote healing. There's lots of information on the Web about repairing sapsucker holes, but I haven't tried any of them.
     
  14. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    If it's a sapsucker, and not a woodpecker, it isn't necessarily going after insects inside/on the tree: they often peck holes to form 'sap wells' which they drink from, or create sap flows to attract insects which they return to feed on.
     
  15. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    They have the Red-listed White-Headed Woodpeckers and Williamson's Sapsuckers around Osoyoos.

    70 percent of the Williamson's are found on Anarchist Mountain, east of the City.

    The Williamson Sapsucker is considered Endangered in Canada and is Blue listed in BC.

    Basically, this province has a Red (endangered) list and a Blue (of concern) list for protected bird species.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  16. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    Here is a photo of the bark on the opposite side, and the canopy of the tree which looks quite healthy and it flowered nicely this spring. I was here a month ago and there were no holes then so this happened in the last few weeks so maybe if I wrap it in burlap I can stem the damage I do not want to lose this tree I am at 4000 feet in a zone 3b and things grow very slowly, this tree is just hitting it's stride now. Arborists aren't really an option up here I am in a remote rural area,so hopefully it's as simple as wrapping the tree.
     

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  17. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    Move the rocks off of the root ball out to the drip line as well.
     
  18. Kiah

    Kiah Member

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    That is the back of the pond, I think you are right about that and the leafcutters have swarmed it so much I think well convert it to a garden and then I can move the rocks. I'll try the burlap and hopefully that will work, thanks so much!
     

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