The Q&A Archives: Willow Borer Damage

Question: I have a 6 year old weeping willow tree that is growing quite beautifully dispite the fact that it became infested with a willow borer. I was advised to use lindane, which I did, and it seemed to take care of the problem. My concern is the damage the borer's have caused to the trunk of the tree. It is peeling excessively away from the trunk. It seems to be trying to heal itself. Do I need to do anything further? Can a tree grow new bark? Because of this problem will it eventually die?

Answer: The tree will try to protect and heal itself by covering the wound -- just as it grows over the spot where a fallen branch had originated. Whether or not it will be successful depends on the extent of the damage and the overall health of the tree. You might help your tree by assuring it has adequate water during dry spells, and applying a balanced fertilizer in late fall after the leaves have fallen, but there is nothing you can do to the trunk itself. I'm sorry about your tree.

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