If you have pine trees in your yard, you probably can’t get enough of their majestic appearance. These evergreen beauties can enhance just about any landscape. However, all species of pines succumb to attacks by bark beetles and insects known as borers.
As top-rated tree service experts in Land O’ Lakes, our Arborist Aboard crew delves deeper into bark beetles and borers attacking pines and highlights why pine tree pests identification matters.
Types of Pests
Ultimately, effective pest management relies on accurate pine tree pests identification.
Pine Bark Beetles
Pine bark beetle larvae tunnel beneath the bark of pine trees, often causing enough damage to kill the tree before it shows any apparent symptoms. As the larvae tunnel into the tree’s conductive tissue, they destroy the cambium and interfere with the tree’s sap flow and life cycle.
This beetle starts its attack on the tree’s lower trunk and large lateral roots. Adult turpentine beetles bore through the outer bark, excavating galleries between the bark and the wood where they lay eggs in groups.
Pine Engraver Beetles
Male pine engraver beetles initiate attacks by boring through the tree’s outer bark into the phloem. They usually attack during droughts, killing groups of pines. Unless you remove dying trees quickly, outbreaks may continue for two to three years.
Culprits in this category include pine tip moths, pine shoot borers, and pitch mass borers. These moths make tunnels that often girdle the trunk and weaken the limbs, making them susceptible to storm damage. Heavily infested trees become deformed and die.
Zimmerman Pine Moths
Caterpillars of the Zimmerman pine moth damage the phloem and cambium regions of the trunk by tunneling into the pine bark. Typical signs of infestation include dead and dying branches, especially in the tree’s upper half.
Symptoms of Pine Tree Pests
Bark beetles and borers frequently attack newly transplanted pines. However, pines with bark injuries or root damage face the highest risk of damage. Despite pines generally withstanding drought, moisture-stressed pines also face a high risk of borer attack.
Unfortunately, most people only discover the symptoms of bark beetle and borer infestations when advanced problems appear. By then, the first attacked trees may have incurred irreparable damage.
Stay alert for the following symptoms:
- Needles turning yellow
- The bark displaying holes that release sap or sawdust
- Holes in the bark
Managing Pine Tree Pests
As a proactive way to reduce pine tree losses, tree experts recommend implementing an integrated pest management program that monitors pines for borer and bark beetle attacks routinely. Recently planted trees and pines on construction sites benefit most from integrated pest management programs.
Certified arborists often apply bark treatments once they identify plant stress or discover that borer populations have exceeded action thresholds. They may also recommend several annual preventative treatments for plants prone to borer attacks. Besides treatment, it also helps to maintain healthy trees and minimize tree stress with proper pruning, fertilization, deep watering during drought, and root collar excavation.
Sanitation also plays a critical role in borer management. Remove dying trees and infested limbs rapidly and never leave pine slash near high-value landscape pines.
Trust Your Local Tree Experts
Keep your property looking its best with top-tier arborist services from Arborist Aboard. Our knowledgeable crew can handle your arbor care needs, including:
- Arborist consulting
- Tree trimming and pruning
- Tree removal
- Disaster relief services
Call Arborist Aboard at (813) 920-4410 to request a free quote for tree service in Land O’Lakes, Florida, or nearby. Reach out for more information on pine tree pests identification or to learn about the best time to hire a tree service for tree removal and pruning.