borer infestation

discusmike

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I have some bad news,one of my trident maples,which is under stress from the crazy spring weve had and root pruning,is under attack from what i think is the carpenterworm borer,sawdust around the base of the tree,what looks to be a branch growing from the trunk is actually sawdust!,also some tiny holes in the trunk,there are also some small black flying insects just around this tree, not sure if this is the same culprit,i have a insecticide named Sevin i sprayed onto the tree yesterday,not sure if this will work,does anyone know the best method of attack against these predators!Thanks.
 

kytombonsai

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I have never seen borers on my tridents before but if there is a hole try poking a small wire into it to kill it and seal the hole with cut paste. If it is alive, I would think that it would have to breath so this may smother it. Good luck.

Tom
 

discusmike

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Thanks Tom,i did poke some copper wire in the holes,sealing sounds like a good idea.
 

TimD

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I lost a really nice Yamadori Apple to borers. KILL EM.

Your best bet is to attack them everywhich way you can. The pokey wire technique. Stab them to death. You can also place the tree in a plastic bag after spraying so you gas them to death with the fumes.

Since they eat the tree from the inside you can also try a systemic approach. Poison their food supply.

The mistake I made with my apple was not realizing how bad the infestation was. When it was all said and done and I took a closer look at the carcas I noticed a ton of tiny holes I'ld swear weren't there before.

Borers will clean their holes after a rain storm, hence the sawdust you noticed. Once you think you've killed them you can try hosing the tree down and checking for the dust again.

Good luck
 

rockm

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Borers, or just dead trunk?

Borers produce holes that aren't small. They're about as big as the head of a penny nail, or just a little smaller. They are not small. Tiny holes would indicate to me, something is going on with the tree and not with insects. Insect infestation is usually a symptom of a larger problem with the tree's overall conditions--in other words, insects are taking advantage of a weak tree.

I say this because tridents are RARELY attacked by anything other than aphids every now and then. Borer beetles (which produce borer grubs) are attracted to exposed dead wood. Since healthy tridents never really have any of that, they're not an issue. Apples and other fruit trees can be an exception because they're insect magnets and require aggressive pre-emptive insect control measures in the spring.

Anyway, If I were you, I'd poke around those tiny holes, push in on them with the wire to see if the wood underneath is rotten. You may find that the tree has substantial rot in the trunk. If that's the case, I'd pull away all the dead bark, carve out any rot and cut back what remains to healthy green tissue.
 

discusmike

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Ive been poking the holes,some go deep into the tree,were i know the wood is alive,ive been checking the tree multiple times a day,im still seeing sawdust piles,but much less,i poke the holes as soon as i notice them,ive also used sevin,and i bought that new insecticide from bayer that you pour into the soil and the tree absorbs the poison,its supposed to last a year,the directions say it works with potted plants,so far i see no ill affects on the tree from the insecticides,im keeping my fingers crossed.Whatever insect it may be,its deffinently eating into my tree,even live wood.
 

rockm

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Do not use a soil soak

They will not get rid of borers...period. They will, however, kill off beneficial as well as bad bugs and fungal colonies in the soil.

I'm not averse to using chemical warfare to get rid of bugs. Insecticides are a good thing. However, applying one that will work on the insect you're after is half the treatment. Systemics aren't going to get rid of borers before they do alot of damage to your tree. If you have them...Borers eat live tissue from underneath. They eat quickly and in a few weeks (or even days depending on the size of the branch/trunk they're working on). Systemics won't kill them (if they kill them at all) before they do significant damage.

Best option to kill them with insecticide is to gas them--plug holes with insecticide soaked cotton, wrap trunk tightly with Saran Wrap to cover holes. Leave in place two days. That should get rid of the things. There is no substitute however, for hunting the little beggars down and impaling them with a sharp implement. This not only exacts some revenge for their damage ;-), but also accounts for their whereabouts and helps you assess any damage and determine any aftercare.
 

Yamadori

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Smoke told me he uses a hypodermic needle and injects insecticide into the holes. I kinda like that idea. You can impale the buggars too.
 

discusmike

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Rockm,when you say they start at the bottom and work up,do you mean from the bottom side of the trunk underneath the soil?or at the soil line up??They are about six inches or so up the trunk now,ive just checked again,i dont see any new holes or sawdust,im gonna try your idea with the gas.I'm worried they might be underneath the soil where i cant see them,if i pull the tree up to inspect,im worried i might cause even more harm to the tree.
 
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If you manage to kill the pests, be sure and feed your tree well so that it can regain some vigor.

When I worked in a garden center (years ago), we used to spray infested plants with nicotine sulfate and then seal them up in trash bags to create a gassing effect. It worked very well. I'm not sure if you can get the product anymore, though - It is very dangerous, but has no lasting effect.
 
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Those little tiny holes are the result of powder post beetles. They also like to get in to antique furniture. The holes are as small or smaller than a pin head. Do a search on Powder Post Beetles and you may find something that works. Ain't it ashame that we can't have clorodane anymore!
 

rockm

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Borers don't burrow

Borers generally don't go below the soil line, but can begin burrowing up from there as their eggs are laid at the base of the tree. By working your way up, I mean find a hole, work from there up and out to find damage.

For what's it's worth, I don't think you have borers, per se. Borers produce PILES of sawdust below their shot-sized holes. Sounds more like the powder post beetles Mac mentions:

Powder post beetle damage:
http://www.doityourselftermitecontrol.com/termites/inspection14.JPG

Peachtree borer damage:

http://ipm.ncsu.edu/current_ipm/01PestNews/01News18/pchtree3.jpg

There are many species of moths and other bugs whose larva are considered "borers." The most damaging and dangerous are the big species that can do alot of damage quickly. Flat headed apple borers and peach tree borers are the most common and destructive. It should be noted that borers like these are thought to be attracted to the chemical signature given off by exposed dead wood--especially exposed dead deciduous tree wood and particularly fruit tree wood.
 

grog

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Any experiences with Ferti-Lome Systemic drench for use on borers? Active ingredient is Imidacloprid.

One of my elms was not leafing out but still green when I scratched the bark. Yesterday I noticed sawdust and found 3 bugs about 1/8" long tunneling into the elm like ticks on a person. Perfect little holes that looked about the size you'd see left from a tack or finishing nail. That particular tree is now hanging out by the burn pile now and I haven't noticed any sawdust or holes on any other trees but I think it'd be smart to use some kind of preventative.
 
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Borers, or just dead trunk?

Borers produce holes that aren't small. They're about as big as the head of a penny nail, or just a little smaller. They are not small. Tiny holes would indicate to me, something is going on with the tree and not with insects. Insect infestation is usually a symptom of a larger problem with the tree's overall conditions--in other words, insects are taking advantage of a weak tree.

I say this because tridents are RARELY attacked by anything other than aphids every now and then. Borer beetles (which produce borer grubs) are attracted to exposed dead wood. Since healthy tridents never really have any of that, they're not an issue. Apples and other fruit trees can be an exception because they're insect magnets and require aggressive pre-emptive insect control measures in the spring.

Anyway, If I were you, I'd poke around those tiny holes, push in on them with the wire to see if the wood underneath is rotten. You may find that the tree has substantial rot in the trunk. If that's the case, I'd pull away all the dead bark, carve out any rot and cut back what remains to healthy green tissue.
I know this is old but this isnt true at all. Some borers are very small, so small in fact sometimes it's easy to over look the holes. If there were tiny holes with a very fine saw dust below the holes it was definitely borers. The only real way to kill them all is to submerge the bonsai under water just above the highest hole you can find and leave it over night. You can add a water soluable insecticide if you like. The borers will either evacuate, drown, or die of suffocation.
 

Jzack605

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Imidacloprin works for EAB and I believe ambrosia beetle and pine bark beetle so it would likely work.

without IDing the borer fins the label with the most possible candidates and use that.

there are also bark applications one can make with adjuvant pentra bark but I’m not sure you can get that without a pesticide license. Hell I didn’t realize you could get imidacloprid products without one.

follow the label, use proper rate. Always. More isn’t always better, usually it’s not.
 

rockm

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I know this is old but this isnt true at all. Some borers are very small, so small in fact sometimes it's easy to over look the holes. If there were tiny holes with a very fine saw dust below the holes it was definitely borers. The only real way to kill them all is to submerge the bonsai under water just above the highest hole you can find and leave it over night. You can add a water soluable insecticide if you like. The borers will either evacuate, drown, or die of suffocation.
Uh, OK. thanks.
:rolleyes:
 

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