Management of Large Pests in Trees

A client recently asked me “how to keep the cockatoos out of her tree?” So the following Blog gives some ideas for you however, the reality is it won’t be easy!.

Pests such as cockatoos and Flying Foxes can be very difficult to manage, for the obvious reason that they have wings. Cockatoos and other birds will be attracted to trees for different reasons, some will be searching for food, some a place to roost and others looking for hollows that they can nest in. Whatever the reason at times it can be a nuisance and may even have a detrimental impact on tree health or even structure.

Cockatoos specifically can do a large amount of damage in a short time to trees when seeking food sources such as seeds found in cones of different species. Trees such as pines, cedars, hakeas, oaks, casuarinas and more can be targeted by the birds as they source out seeds within the hard woody cones.

Large numbers of the birds can arrive in huge flocks and in a short time, rip, chew and tear trees to bits. The fact is that other than a big mess and a short term “stripping” of the tree, the likelihhod of extended periods of contimued damage is unlikely and therefor long term impacts to tree health is low.

Flying Foxes on the other hand are more likely looking for a tree or possibly a palm to roost in. Again it is more often more of a nuisance than a risk of damage being done to tree health.

The only real way to stop this happening is to be a big nuisance to the birds or Flying Foxes. When the animals are in the tree we need to annoy or scare them enough to force them to take off. If we can persistantly bother them enough it is likely that in time they will source out a more quiet or less interupted place to feed or roost. Loud noises, bells on strings or even throwing things into the tree continually for some time maybe enough to persuade them to move on.

If however you have birds that look to be picking continually at obvious hollows or at the top side of branch unions this can be a bigger problem. Many bird and animal species rely on tree hoolows to nest and live. Cockatoos and Lorikeets and other species can actively promote the creation of hollows by chewing the new bark at tree wounds. If left un checked these wounds can become areas of reduced structural integrity and may even lead to limb failures. In the past we have utilised mesh and netting to protect these wounds to reduce continued damage with varying success.

If you are concerned about potential damage being casued to your trees due to birds it is reccomended that you cintact a local arborist to have an inspection. Sometimes the wounds can not be see from the ground and a climbing inspection is needed to assess the damage that may be getting done.

If you are concerned abnout the health and saftey of your trees get in touch with us today to organise an inspection.