What do you grow in Austin, TX when everything you try dies?
Yep, that looks like woodpecker damage. There are ways to deter them if you're concerned about the damage: foil, sticky tape, etc...
I didn't know woodpeckers would do that to living tree. I wonder if the tree has some type of bug living in it that the woodpeckers are eating?
Katina, do you follow the quite local Birding on Broadmeade blog? Mikael Behrens has photos that looks similar to this - he says it's a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. I knew those woodpeckers went after trees in Illinois but didn't realize their range included Austin. Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Annie - I have not seen that blog yet - I will have to start reading it. I have seen a yellow bellied sap sucker in the neighbor's yard (it was a few months ago, around christmas I think), so it wouldn't surprise me...
The first thing I thought of was it looks like the pattern of a bee hive, with the many various holes. I would definitely say woodpecker though, I've not come across a pest or bug that can dig holes through tree bark that deep. -Oscar Valencia
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