Friday, July 13, 2012

More on Borers

More on Borers
With all the stress the environment is putting on our landscape plants, this might be a good time to review wood-boring insects, often referred to simply as borers. We all seem to be aware of the emerald ash borer which is in the news constantly, but there are many other borers out in the landscape as well. Borers are generally attracted to stressed trees. Newly planted and drought stressed trees, as well as trees subjected to mechanical damage, such as being hit by a lawn mower or weed whacker, are prone to borer attack.

viburnum crown borer damage resized for web
                                         Damage from viburnum borer

Borers, in their larval stage, feed just under the bark or sometimes deep in the heartwood of a wide variety of woody plants. Those that feed just under the bark will disrupt the flow of water to the upper portion of the tree or shrub. Even a moderate infestation can kill a tree. Look for off-color foliage or dying foliage, sawdust-like frass (insect excrement) in bark crevices and cracks and dead branches. Borers that tunnel deeper in the heartwood may do structural damage to the tree over time.
Wood-boring insects can often be identified by the species and location of the insect. Bronze birch borer, for example, attacks white-barked birches by tunneling under the bark of the trunk. Viburnum crown borer attacks viburnums near the ground, at the base of their stems. Peach tree borer attacks peach trees and other trees in the genus Prunus. They also attack the tree low near the ground.
Management: Prevention is key. Trees should be sited properly, so they are growing in conditions conducive to good health. Keep trees healthy by watering them during droughts. A properly mulched tree will negate the need for a lawn mower or weed whacker and minimize injury, while conserving soil moisture. Chemical control is usually ineffective against borers already in the tree, but may prevent future attack. Therefore, the treatments must be timed to prevent newly hatched borer larvae from entering the tree. To do that we must be aware of the life cycle of each insect and also be looking for new borer holes. The appearance of new holes indicates that adult borers are exiting the tree and preparing to mate and lay eggs.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is committed to proving its customers with quality tree service at competitive prices. We are proud to educate the public for the better good of the environment and the people of our communities.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. employs highly educated staff and strives to be the best in the tree care and maintenance industry.  For more information on Trees "R" Us, Inc. visit our website at or call us at 847-913-9069.  I'm Nick, the owner and I'm only an email away:

Trees "R" Us, Inc. services the north shore, north suburbs, and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  We are a full service tree company providing quality tree care, tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and plant health care by certified arborists.

Thanks for reading,

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