How much wood would a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker could peck wood?
Well since we already know that woodpeckers can peck wood, the answer in this case is probably a lot. Generally, the relationship between trees and this hardworking bird is a symbiotic one. Woodpeckers use their chisel-like bill to excavate insects that burrow into trees, such as the emerald ash borer, thus keeping the tree healthy and earning themselves a meal in the process.
In this case, however, the tree may be getting a raw deal. Some species of the bird, such as the crow-sized pileated woodpecker, carve nests out of dead trees. It is likely that this tree is already dead or in a state of decay before the wood pecker decided to make it its new home. That’s not to say that woodpeckers can’t be a nuisance—they are sometimes known to break dead trees in half, causing property damage.