The Q&A Archives: tree pest

Question: I have some silver maple and tulip poplar trees. There seems to be some sort of bug eating into the bark. These trees are about two years old. Can you give me some idea how to stop this problem.? It looks like termites eating into the tree.

Answer: It's hard to tell from your description just what the problem is. Here's one possibility. Are you actually seeing a little hole in the bark? Do you see little bits of sawdust-like material at the base of the tree, underneath the hole or around it? If so, you may have a problem with borers. Borers are moth larvae (caterpillar) that eat their way into the trunk, leaving their droppings, or "frass", around the hole and on the ground. The easiest way to tell if this is the problem, and to take care of it, is to take a piece of wire--an opened paper clip will do--and simply poke it into the hole. If there's a borer in there, you'll impale in and you can pull it out and kill it.<br><br>If this doesn't sound like the problem, then I would make some very detailed observations--like, where the holes are, what they look like, any other symptoms, etc.--and visit a local nursery with the information. They may be able to identify it, especially if it is a common pest in the region.<br><br>Good luck.<br>

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