Mystery pits revealed

I’d turned Friday’s picture on end to try to fool you…but to no avail.  Deirdre and Gail both guessed woodpeckers, and yes, this is sapsucker damage:

Though some woodpeckers look for insects under the bark, sapsuckers drill neat lines of wells that fill with sap.  The birds can then move down the line of wells, lapping up sugar water.  (Kind of the avian version of lining up tequilla shots on the bar.)  Healthy trees are generally not at risk of dying from drilling injury, though if the tree is completely girdled that would be a problem.  Trees stressed by other factors could be also be killed by this final straw.

(Deb and @s both thought the photo might be a cactus skeleton, and it certainly looks like one!  Hadn’t thought of that myself.)

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

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