1/4 inch bore holes in tree - Knowledgebase Question

Salt Lake City, Ut
Avatar for chrissiavra
Question by chrissiavra
April 26, 2010
I have a Patmore Green Ash, about 3 years old. Over this past year I have noticed a few holes in the trunk and on one branch that appear to be bored out. I never notice any type of worm/bug, nor any bird pecking. What could this be and how do I stop it? The tree and branch affected do not appear to suffer from it, but for how long until it spells doom?

Answer from NGA
April 26, 2010
If the holes are in a pattern, birds are likely to blame. If the holes are random, it sounds suspiciously like ash tree borers and a serious infestation can kill the tree. Borers within trees cannot be successfully treated with insecticides because the insects are in a protected site. Insecticidal control is best achieved if sprays are made during periods of adult activity and egg laying. Trunk sprays can kill the adult borers during egg laying and also may be effective against newly emerged larvae before they enter the trunk. Timing of trunk sprays varies with different borer species. Without knowing for sure if the culprits are ash tree borers, you may need to find and capture an adult and take it into the cooperative extension office for positive identification. Helpful folks there can recommend control treatments. Try poking a paperclip or toothpick into the holes to see if you can extract a larvae. If so, your extension office can identify it for you. Good luck with your ash tree!

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