| Categories: Birds, Insects and Pests, Trees

Woodpeckers and Emerald Ash Borer



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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 РHopefully not your siding!

Jim Walsh

Board Certified Master Arborist