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icewoman

bird feeding and tree bark

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I have placed a number of suet feeders on an oak tree in my yard. These feeders get a lot of attention and now the bark of the tree is getting warn off. My question is if this is going to damage the tree? The woodpeckers are not pecking at the tree but it seems to be from the claws?

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Do the squirrels try to get at the suet? I would think they could do more damage than the woodpecker claws. Wish I knew the answer to your question. I would think the tree could be more vulnerable to insects and diseases in the summer. But I have whole branches that the gray squirrels have chewed the bark from. Those branches don't seem to leaf out anymore, but the trees have survived.

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Bark removal does leave trees more vulnerable, but some trees are more at risk than others. I agree it's likely that squirrels will cause more problems in that area than birds, but depending on the tree species and the delicacy of the bark, a big enough parade of birds coming to the same spot could cause bark wear.

You can simply drive a post into the ground near the tree (a wooden post) and mount a suet feeder on the post. Birds after the suet will stage on the tree and then fly to the post, but since the suet is no longer on the tree they won't be concentrated around a single place and won't continue to wear off the bark.

Also, since you'll only have a single suet feeder (or if you put one on each side of the post you'll at least have them in exactly the same place), you'll be concentrating the suet eating birds in one location, which makes it easier for you to view them.

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Thanks for the responce. I actually think it is from the woodpeckers. I believe I will move them to another location...I think the post idea will have to wait till spring smile Speaking of woodpeckers. My birding dreams came true yesterday. I finaly had the pilliated come to the suet feeder. I now have four species of woodpeckers coming to the feeders, it is great fun to watch.

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