Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker – tree wells

Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), a species of wood pecker that over-winters here in Georgia, creates “wells” along the trunks and limbs of several native trees.¬† The sapsuckers chisel holes (wells) into the tree, and then makes return trips to lap up sap that oozes from the wells.¬† They’ll also feed on insects that get trapped in the flowing sap.

Damage to trees is seldom significant and is part of a natural process.

 

yellow-bellied sapsucker creating "wells" on a hickory (James Solomon, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

yellow-bellied sapsucker creating “wells” on a hickory (James Solomon, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

sap oozing from wells on red maple in December

sap oozing from wells on red maple in December

view of wells with no oozing

view of wells with no oozing

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