borer damageNow to tackle a boring matter. This post could even leave your trees feeling bored. This blog should be the cure for bore-dumb. But enough with the bad puns already. Now that we have your attention, the “Boring” topic is actually a very important one and something you should be aware of if you plan on having healthy trees on your property.

There are hundreds of thousands of species of insects. Out of those, there are practically thousands that feed on trees and shrubs. A sub-group of these insects are referred to as “wood-boring” insects. Their larvae cause extensive internal damage to trees and shrubs, as they bore or tunnel through the inside tissues of stems and trunks feeding off of the plant’s life source and nutrients. As they do so, they damage the tree substantially by disrupting the flow of nutrients up and down the tree through the layer of tissue referred to as “cambium” that transports water and nutrients to the leaves and other parts of the tree. Borers are like the wolf-pack of the insect kingdom, preying on weak and unhealthy trees and often killing plants in a short period of time.

There are so many types of borers to be aware of, but we will focus on 4 of particular concern in our area.

Peachtree Borer: Don’t let its name fool you. This borer attacks a variety of trees in the Prunus genus. Trees like Plums and Cherry trees can be damaged very quickly by this borer. This small borer can damage trees and shrubs in this genus and multiply very quickly. Preventive spraying along with cultural methods at key points during the year can minimize damage from this pest.

borer damage on birchBronze Birch Borer: If you own a birch tree, particularly a white birch, you need to be very familiar with this borer. This borer like many can be spotted by seeing its exit hole as the flying adult emerges out of the tree after it’s larval state of feeding on the tree. The hole will be D-shaped and at times there will be a bronze-stain below the hole as the sap oozes out. This pest can be treated with preventive soil injections annually.

Shot-Hole Borer: These borers are named as such for the many small exit holes found on the bark and branches of trees, particularly on White Pines and other conifer species. It appears as if they were shot with small shotgun shells. This pest can severely damage a tree and by the time it’s noticed it can be too late. Healthy trees need to be sprayed on a preventive basis so they stand a chance against this pest.

Emerald Ash Borer: This pest is making quite the headlines in the north and east parts of the U.S. as it can kill a healthy Ash tree in as little as 3 years. Soil and trunk injections to a healthy tree can drastically prolong its life if the tree in question has less than 30% die-back.

borer in woodKeeping trees healthy is the key. Trees that are drought-stressed, under other insect or disease pressure, or lacking proper nutrition are first targets for wood-boring insects. Do you part to keep your trees healthy and hire a tree care company with Certified Arborists that know how to identify these specific insects and engage in a proper treatment plan for your trees and shrubs.

Don’t get bored to death!

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