Black Walnut Tree has damages

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by AAnightowl, Feb 21, 2024.

  1. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    Normally, I would not be real concerned, but this black walnut is between my house and my kids' house, and if it falls, could take out either house.

    This morning, I noticed that there are what looks like woodpecker holes at about knee or hip high around my large black walnut tree. The holes are seeping lots of sap and the bugs are enjoying it, so it is already coming out of dormancy for spring. They are not totally around the tree, but more than halfway around the tree. Personally, I have no interest in harming my local woodpeckers. If the tree has to go, it is large enough and straight enough for lumber and could be sold. It will not bring as much as a tree with wider girth, but it is still a good tree for lumber. It does make shade between our two houses. It is more than twice the height of our homes, and does have walnuts in the fall.

    Is that enough damage to kill the tree? If it is dying, it would be better to remove it before it becomes a danger to tree.

    A friend suggested painting the injuries?! I have no idea how PAINT would protect the wounds or help them heal. Allegedly it would not "harm" my woodpeckers? Since we have had an infestation of giant brown hornets living in the bark of trees here for some years, I am more in favor of the woodpeckers eating them. The hornets are about the size of a human thumb and quite a nuisance. Japanese beetles are also a pest.

    I do have other black walnut trees but they are not near my house.
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    I hope your tree will survive this.
    It may be interesting, and perhaps helpful to know what type of woodpecker is causing the damage. Could it be a sapsucker?
     
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  4. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    @Sjoerd I have lots of woodpeckers of different kinds here and did not see it happen, so I have no idea.
     
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  5. Clay_22

    Clay_22 In Flower

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    Hope it survives.Many years ago helped a neighbor dispose of one them after a hurricane took it out. Not a fun job the branches are not fun to deal with.
     
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  6. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    Walnut tree… could help to call a certified arborist to get professional advice if the tree is in trouble. The biggest hint when trees usually have serious issues is when mushrooms start growing from the tree trunk and roots. Usually means it is decaying inside and hard to spot . Also a arborist can spot if any damage up higher that can’t be easily identified. Some trees look terrible with holes in the trunk from moth larvae called gypsy moths, woodpeckers, sapsuckers usually don’t damage the tree if contained and controlled the first few years using tree systemics. A arborist can recommend what is the best way to prevent more damage or if it is a loss. But this is the time of year for sap to run in trees and ‘calling all sapsuckers’ to feast.
    I have several trees that look like Bonny and Clyde used them as machine gun target practice. But they are healthy and no damages past the cambium layers. Most trees if left alone will heal damage to tree branches falling off as much as from 6-10 inches in diameter if left to heal on their own. Do not paint cover or treat. This will prevent the tree from forming a natural layer to protect it from further damage.
    Any way … yikes said way too much. But the name of the game is prevention and protect your garden and property from falling trees… especially unannounced . It takes one storm to knock out a weakened tree .
    My guess is the sapsuckers are feasting and drilling tiny holes which can look alarming.
    Can you post pics of the damage? Thanks..
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2024
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  7. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Young Pine

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    If it is alive and hurt the neighbor- your liability. If dead, act of God. You could go poison it before it gets sap heavy and have it removed.
     
  8. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    The tree and my kids are on my property. I can try posting my pics on FB and then here. The damage is to the trunk.
     
  9. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    @Dirtmechanic , how does one poison a 50 to 60 ft tall black walnut? I have a small black walnut in another area that we have not been able to kill. That one is too near my veggie garden and killed an apple tree a few years ago. That little one poisoned my compost pile before I knew it was there (hiding under some pine trees).
     
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  10. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    409071932_1450639318861553_4389794750263097638_n.jpg 409087145_1450639218861563_8108044455314143735_n.jpg


    Not sure how well you can see the damage, but they are oozing sap a lot, and it goes more than half way around the tree. The bugs love the sap.
     
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  11. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Young Pine

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    Triclopyr or MSM (metsulfuron-methyl) will do it. MSM is extremely dangerous around trees as it takes so little when being used normally as a weed killer. A heavy dose will smoke a tree. Trees are real slow to take up and the fall dormancy shifting to spring gives an opportunity to have the process work as fast as it might all year.
     
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  12. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    Thank you for posting great pictures. The holes do not look like they are in the typical style from a bird.
    It could be the exit holes of the walnut beetle they are low on the trunk and have the ‘shotgun’ effect.
    Contrast that in comparison to the beetle holes style to the sapsucker birds which drill holes in a different style higher up in a ‘straight line’ around the trunk.

    By doing a little bit of research , came across this from the university of Missouri extension service .
    https://extension.missouri.edu/news/thousand-cankers-disease-threatens-missouri-walnut-trees

    See below site showing pics comparing the difference between sapsucker birds holes and the walnut beetle.
    https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/deciduous/blackwalnut/trunkholes.html

    A certified arborist can help evaluate the problem and direct you to the best solution.
     
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  13. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    @Dirtmechanic There are rose of sharon bushes around this tree and elm trees close by.
    There are giant white pines close to the small black walnut tree, and I planted them as tiny saplings back in the 1980s. They are now over 70 feet tall. I do NOT want to kill them. I will try to get a current picture of those pines, but they are so huge it is hard.



    Also, I would not want to poison my water well or those of my neighbors.

    I will look at the websites about walnut beetles.
     
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  14. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    I did read those website articles, but nothing was said if the lumber is ruined or okay to use? I have no idea if my other walnut trees are affected or not. I saved the links for reference, and will share with my son.
     
  15. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    fred's pines 2024.jpg


    These are the pines I mentioned that dear friends gave me many years ago, the trees were tiny babies when I planted them. The hidden black walnut is to the left, and may not have gotten in my photo. It has been cut down several times.

    I have planted many trees over the years, and most have done very well.
     
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  16. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Young Pine

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    This is what scares me about using poison. My yard is a tapestry but I do not have to worry about groundwater floating that crap into the garden during a heavy rain. I have noticed that every year a different weed seems to be the dominate bad kid which is interesting as they seem to take themselves out.
     

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