Crab Apple Trees

crabapple tree problem

Zone wi/il border | cvlwrjnky2000 added on August 23, 2015 | Answered

25 year old tree with 1/4" holes encircling trunk and all large branches. Tree is under stress with multiple dead smaller branches, although it did flower profusely and is loaded with 1/4" apples. I have more pics if that would help. Thanks, Ron

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Answered on August 24, 2015

We did not receive any images.

With the description I thinks this may be the damage of a Sapsucker, a member of the woodpecker family. Found in WI.

They drill holes 1/4 inch in diameter and very uniform rows.
They then feed on the sap and the insects that are attracted to the sap.
It usually is not serious, but they can girdle a tree and cause the trees death.
You can attach a piece of burlap to the tree to cover the holes and deter the birds.
If it is insect damage, the appearance would be much more random. This would be a borer insect and this also can be a serious issue for the tree. You may find saw dust material at the base of the tree in the case of borers.

If you feel this is insect damage you may want to contact an arborist to inspect the tree.
Your local country extension office can help you find a local professional.

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