What Causes Holes in Tree Trunks?

tree trunk holesSome homeowners report small holes on one of their trees. These occurs especially on the trunk and extend past the layer of bark. What causes these tree trunk holes? Does an emergency tree service crew need to take a look? The holes can be attributed to a number of causes. You can determine the likely culprit by looking at the size and patterns of the holes.

Boring Insects

If the hole is small, about the diameter of a spaghetti noodle, then you probably have a problem with boring beetles. The Lake Stevens area is home to dozens of boring insect species that bore into trees to lay eggs. Beetles look for weaker trees to bore into. This is potentially a sign that your tree is undergoing stress. This may be from improper pruning, watering, etc. Bring in a tree care service for inspection.


If you see multiple holes close together, then this may be the cause of pecking from the yellow-bellied woodpecker. The bird pecks for the tree’s sugary sap and boring insects. You can dissuade woodpeckers by wrapping the trunk in burlap.

Woodpeckers are especially active during fall; now is the time to be on the lookout for this disruptive bird species.

Clearwig Moths

If you see larger dime-sized holes, then you probably have a problem with clearwig moths. Male moths take the eggs from the female and deposit them on the bark. When the eggs hatch, the larvae begin to tunnel into the bark for shelter. This can harm the tree’s tissue that’s vital for transporting water and nutrients.

We Inspect Holes in Tree Trunks

Multiple holes are often present during removal of dead trees. If you see miniature craters on the bark, contact Pro-Cut Tree Service for a checkup. Holes in the tree trunk warrant attention at your earliest convenience; the tree may be in dire health.

Tree Protection from Pests

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area