The Hack That'll Keep Woodpeckers Off Your Beloved Trees

If you've noticed woodpeckers on your beloved trees, many effective methods exist to gently scare these spirited birds in your yard without causing them any distress. For example, hanging strips of aluminum foil from the tree can scare them away, and wrapping tree trunks can create a protective (and discouraging) barrier to keep them away. That being said, it helps to understand how these birds operate for a successful operation. Woodpeckers are pivotal in nature's grand orchestra and have always been an intriguing yet integral component of our ecosystem.

Watching them, you quickly realize their incessant pecking isn't just a whimsical habit. Every time they tap, they're searching for their next meal, signaling their dominance, or preparing a cozy nook for their offspring. Understandably, if you're a homeowner or a tree enthusiast, your heart might skip a beat thinking of the potential damage or the lasting scars woodpeckers could leave on your prized possession. But you can strike a balance between respecting these magnificent creatures and preserving your beloved trees.

Distract and deter with aluminum foil

Birds, especially woodpeckers, tend to be wary of new and unfamiliar objects, especially those that move or reflect light unpredictably. This characteristic can be used to your advantage. Begin by hanging strips of aluminum foil on and around the tree trunk. The unpredictable movement and the glint of sunlight reflecting off these materials can be enough to dissuade a woodpecker from approaching. The foil can be cut into long strips and folded on top of a tree branch or hung on pieces of string or wire. Use heavy-duty foil, rather than cheap or lightweight options, so that the strips of foil will last longer. 

Remember those old CDs or DVDs you no longer use? They too can be repurposed as woodpecker deterrents, working similarly to aluminum foil. Hung from branches, they will spin and reflect sunlight in a dazzling display that woodpeckers find disconcerting.

Protect your trees with aluminum foil

You can also protect the trunk of your tree from woodpeckers. Protecting the trunk of your tree serves dual purposes — it can act as both a preventive step and a response to an existing woodpecker problem. The incessant drumming of woodpeckers can cause both superficial and deep damage over time. Thus, intervening early can save your tree from prolonged distress. Making the tree less inviting or presenting a challenge can be just the nudge a woodpecker needs to search for alternative spots. A highly recommended strategy involves wrapping the tree trunk with materials like aluminum foil or even burlap. 

Aluminum-foil-wrapped tree trunks deter woodpeckers, just as strips do, while burlap acts  as a formidable barrier against the sharp beak of woodpeckers — its robust texture and thick weave make it a deterrent, as it doesn't offer the usual satisfaction woodpeckers derive from pecking at tree barks. However, while these materials are effective, it's crucial to consider the tree's health too. During humid summer months, when moisture levels are high, it's wise to remove any wraps to prevent mold growth and other potential complications.