The Q&A Archives: Bugs Boring Into Dogwood Tree

Question: I have two small Dogwood Trees, about 7 feet tall, and one has an area on the trunk, where the bark has been falling off, and some type of insects have bored into the trunk. What can I do to save my tree? The insects are so small I can't really see them.

Answer: There are borers which will attack and threaten the life of a dogwood. However, your description sounds like the bark fell off first and borers entered the inner wood portion later. Such borers attack dead inner wood parts and are not a threat to the living bark and cambium tissues. Their tunnels can weaken the trunk a little however. Sometimes, you can poke a piece of wire into the hole, and impale the caterpillar(s). It is difficult to control borers with sprays, since they are inside the trunk.

Your County Extension office (910-593-8179) might be able to recommend a borer treatment as well as the proper application method and timing, if you decide to spray.

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