The Q&A Archives: Apple Tree Damage

Question: We have an old neglected apple tree that produced apples last season, but the tree has severe damage from some kind of moth larvae. They are living in the sawdust of the damaged trunk. I am hoping the tree can be saved. I cleaned the hole out as best I could and filled it with the expanding foam insulation. Would you know what these are offhand?

Answer: It would be difficult to identify the larvae without seeing it, but I expect you've taken care of the problem by cleaning out the wound. Although you've already sealed the wound, I wouldn't recommend using any foreign material in a tree wound. It takes time, but if the tree is healthy it will compartmentalize the wound and seal it off. By applying canned foam, which expands and dries hard, the tree won't be able to heal the wound. Since it's an old tree, it may not matter so much, buta young tree should always be given an opportunity to heal and seal its own wounds. Keep watching for insect populations in or near the tree so you can nip the problem in the bud.

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