Small Holes in Trees: Are These Harmless or Hazardous?
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Fort Myers, FL 33908

Small Holes in Trees: Are They Harmless or Hazardous?

Trees in your landscaping add sophistication and height to your horizon line, and many homeowners love the natural sight of healthy, thriving trees. However, when you notice small holes in trees on your property, you may wonder whether they’re hazardous or harmless. Learn what causes holes in trees and when to contact a certified arborist in Fort Myers, Florida.

What Causes Holes in Trees?

To determine the culprit behind the tiny pinprick holes in your tree’s bark, note the size and precision of the holes. Hole-boring insects like beetles may create what appear to be small, shallow holes, but as they burrow further into your tree, the insects can interrupt the inner workings of the plant. Large groups of disorganized tiny holes may indicate a bark beetle infestation.

Other insects that dig into tree bark include moths. Holes from moths appear larger than beetle holes and may have powdery dust in and around the tunnels. While beetles invade a tree to eat away at its bark, moths lay their eggs in tree trunks, and their larvae use the tree as food.

If the holes in your tree appear more methodical and precise, they may have come from woodpeckers or sapsuckers. These birds create holes in tree bark to find tree sap and root around after tree-boring insects. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers leave a horizontal row of tiny holes, making it easy to recognize when these birds have been digging in your tree.

Why Should I Worry About Holes in My Trees?

While not all small holes in trees indicate a severe problem, not stopping insects from continuing residence in your tree may encourage other types of bugs to invade your tree. As the years pass, unchecked insect problems may destroy your tree and leave you to deal with a dead behemoth in your backyard.

Insect infestations also attract more birds to your tree, especially bark-destroying species. Over time, you may see large swaths of bark disappear, leaving your tree vulnerable to the elements and diseases. Trees with poor bark coverage may fall prey to water damage, which weakens trees and can turn them into hazards.

Some signs indicating an unhealthy tree may include:

  • Loss of bark or discolored areas
  • Dead or dying limbs
  • Weakened branches that may fall during storms

Can I Bring a Tree Back to Health?

The best way to provide a healthy, happy life for your trees starts with preventive methods. However, if you notice holes in your trees or other signs of insect or bird problems, you can take steps now to help your tree heal naturally.

Step One: Pruning

Many boring insects prefer dry, dead branches but can spread into healthier tree parts. You can stop these invaders by cutting dead branches off the main trunk.

Step Two: Pest Control

Consult your local tree experts to learn the best types of insect killer to use around your tree. Follow the directions on the product carefully, and spray at a time when children and pets won’t interfere.

Step Three: Deter the Birds

Using bird netting or chicken wire, you can keep birds away from your trees. Other methods include using reflective tape or aluminum foil, which cause shiny flashes irritating their eyes.

Unfortunately, you can’t always save your tree. A professional arborist can help you determine whether you should remove a tree or take steps to keep it.

Ask an Expert About Holes in Trees in Fort Myers

If you’ve noticed small holes in trees on your property, call the Island Tree Service arborists at (239) 463-5121. We can help you determine when to remove a tree and how to protect trees on your property.

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