Why Does Your Tree Have Tiny Holes in the Trunk?

We all know the importance of trees in your gardens, yards, or farms. Some are planted for commercial purposes like timber harvesting, fruits, and so on and so forth, while others are meant to beautify our properties. That sounds great, right? Well, how will you feel when you realize that your maple tree or oak tree has some holes drilled on its trunk? Of course, this is quite an annoying experience, especially if you were about to harvest your timber-it is a complete loss of revenue.

Holes in Tree Trunks

Forget about that for a moment as we delve into something peculiar! It is amazing, if not perplexing to note that these are not random holes as they have been drilled to assume a particular pattern. In fact, these are lines of holes in a perfect column and rows! We all know wood borers drill holes in our precious trees, but they do not have the shrewdness to make holes into perfect rows. Without a doubt, holes in a perfect line(s) are most certainly the art of another creature. Who could that be? What causes tiny holes in tree trunks? Read on this article to explore the possible culprits.

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1). Sapsuckers

A creature called sapsucker, who is also a member of the infamous woodpecker family perhaps created the holes. This bird is about seven to eight inches long featuring a black head with a white stripe running down to its neck. It damages trees by drilling holes in large branches or in the trunk. Its damage is quite distinctive because it drills uniformly. The length of all the holes is approximately a quarter inch and they are arranged in distinct rows. It feeds on tree saps, and that is why it drills holes to find its meal. It also feeds on insects, beetles, wasps, and ants that peruse the sap oozing from the drilled holes.

2). Bark beetles

If you thought birds are the only creatures that drill peculiar holes in trees, then you were wrong, as insects are also part of that mix! Bark beetles are one such notorious insect that damages your precious trees. You may be wondering how in earth rice-size insect can drill holes in huge tree trunks, causing severe damages. They start drilling a tree by first laying their eggs under the bark. These eggs hatch into the larvae, and this is where the whole action begins. Larvae chew tunnels/holes throughout the inner bark. As the larvae mature, they bore wider holes in the bark that extends to the tree’s exterior. If you examine these holes, you will see a pattern that resembles the buckshot pellet.

3). Flathead and Round head borers

Borers, both flat head and round head, are another group of insects that damage trees by drilling unique holes. Recognized by their metallic-colored and shiny shells in shades of blue, copper, green, and bronze, females lay eggs in the crevices and barks of a tree. Just like the bark beetles, their eggs hatch into a grub-looking larva that drill tunnels through the sapwood and inner bark. These tunnels are often oval in shape, another drill habit that displays some wonders!


Now you know the possible culprits behind the tiny row of holes in tree trunks of oak, maple, and apple. The damage extend caused by each creature often vary considerably, but it is important to take fast measures once you notice any sign of their existence to save your tree from further damages and possible loss of the entire tree.

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