We used three woodpecker species as umbrella species for old deciduous forests, and analysed their preferences in an area with old pollarded oaks in the Taurus Mountains, Turkey. Using plot inventories, we physically characterised trees utilised for nesting and foraging amongst woodpeckers in general and the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Leiopicus medius) in particular. Trees more frequently visited by foraging woodpeckers differed from randomly chosen trees by being taller, having a larger circumference, greater bark furrow depth and shorter distance to neighbouring trees. Nesting trees were taller, had a higher proportion of dead wood but a lower surface area of natural cavities. Our results suggest that the woodpeckers in the study area rely upon woodlands containing mature trees, thus have the potential to function as suitable umbrella species' to highlight the conservation value of oak forest habitats in southern Turkey.