One of the biggest killers of ornamental trees is wood-boring beetles. We mostly hear about them from the news in stories that cover pine tree death in larger forests. Wood-boring beetles are very much a home pest though they don’t invade the home. Trees and shrubs, when healthy, add value to a home and property. Having to have a tree removed because it is dying is not only expensive, it detracts from the potential value of a home.
There are many species of wood borers. Most are tree-specific. This means that one species may only target one type of tree or one family of tree (such as pines.)
Interestingly, in the case of the pine borers it’s not the beetle that kills the tree. Rather, pine borers carry a fungus on their legs and into the tree. This fungus is responsible for killing the pines trees hosting pine borers. Fungi need a moist environment and the inside of a tree is perfect for a colony. As the fungus colony grows, it occludes the vascular tissue of trees so that water can no longer travel to its top limbs. Eventually, with its circulation compromised, the tree dies.
The Relationship Between the Beetle and the Tree
The relationship between trees and the wood borer beetle is millions of years old. Trees do have defenses. For example, when pine trees have sufficient water they produce prolific amounts of tree resin in order to push the beetles out. Pushing the beetle out prevents fungi invasion. Note to property owners: a key to this first line DIY defense is providing your trees and shrubs with plenty of water.
Act Before Disease Sets In
If you are concerned about tree health, the time to act is before the tree shows signs of disease. Be sure to give trees in your yard plenty of water. More importantly, call us and speak to one of our experts about systemic control for fungi. We provide comprehensive pest control services to Bryan and College Station.