Are Holes in Trees Dangerous to Their Health?

The bark is a tree’s most reliable form of protection from insects, fungi, birds, and other hazards. Of course, tree bark isn’t impervious to damage, so when holes appear, you may wonder if they are damaging to a tree’s health. Fortunately, holes in a tree trunk aren’t usually a major threat to its health.

In this post, we go over some of the causes of holes in trees and help you understand what steps you should take, if any. To secure your tree’s health, contact Arkdelphia’s tree service experts at Urban Jacks Tree Service to get the most out of your trees.

Why Does My Tree Have Holes in It?

When you notice holes in trees around your yard, your first question is likely why and how they got there. As it turns out, there are a wide variety of reasons why there may be holes in your trees. 

For example, smaller holes are often a result of wood-boring insects, while larger holes could be due to birds or larger insect pests. Here are some common causes of tree holes:

Tiny Insect Holes

More often than not, small holes in the bark of your tree are a result of small boring insects like bark beetles. Many insects like to make their nests in trees, so it can be hard to identify exactly what kind of pest you are dealing with.

If you’re quick with your treatment, you can often deal with the issue before it severely damages the tree.

Large Insect Holes

Clearwing moths are often the cause of larger holes in trees. These moths generally target trees that are already weak due to some other ailment. 

Like holes from smaller boring insects, these insects only damage trees significantly when their eggs hatch and larvae eat their way out of the tree. The best method of treatment is early detection. If you need more help, contacting a professional arborist in the area is a smart choice. 

Holes Created by Birds

Birds such as woodpeckers and yellow-bellied sapsuckers create some of the most prominent holes in trees. These holes are often much larger than the ones insects create and can cause similarly significant damage to trees. 

Woodpeckers drill into your trees to get to the insects inside, while sapsuckers chip away to get the sap in your tree. Fortunately, you can deter them with a few simple methods, such as:

  • Bird netting
  • “Scarecrows” of natural predators
  • Reflective surfaces

How to Deal with Holes in Trees

Unfortunately, once holes are in your tree, you cannot reverse the damage. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine, and this is certainly true when it comes to your trees.

While some holes have little to no impact on your tree or will become filled by the tree itself, larger holes or a significant number of holes can threaten your tree’s health. 

If you have a tree that’s pockmarked with holes, your best option may be to remove the tree and start fresh. Hopefully, with more effective preventative methods.

Get the Best Solutions for Tree Holes

To avoid holes in trees on your property, it’s essential to work with reputable arborists. At Urban Jacks Tree Service, our expert team can help identify your tree’s problems and find the best solution.

If you need to know how to tell if a tree is rotten inside or figure out the best way to avoid transplant shock of a new sapling, we can help. Call us today at (501) 547-4018 to secure your tree’s health.


Urban Jacks Tree Service is your full
service tree care company from
Hot Springs to Malvern, AR.

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5 Sanchez Way,
Hot Springs Village,
AR 71909

Phone :  (501) 494-1363
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Mon to Sun : 7:00 am - 7:00 pm


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