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What is a Borer?

Tree borers are a group of insects that lay their eggs on or inside of trees, where the young larvae eat their way through living tissues. These miscreants can be either beetles or clearwing moths, but the end result is the same, some serious damage to your trees which may lead to you needing Tree Removal Services.

   

     borer-bug                borer-larvae

 

Signs your Trees may be Infested with Borer:

 

borer-affected-tree

Do any of your Palm Trees look like this?

 

Here on the Gold Coast, we love our Palm Trees, unfortunately, they are very susceptible to infestation of borer. Preventing the spread of infestation is crucial to ensure the long-term health and beauty of our palms and prevent Tree Removal services from being needed.

Tree borer insects cause affected parts of trees to slowly weaken as their chewing severs vital transport tissues. Over time, this can weaken branches to the point that they break under pressure. The most obvious signs of tree borer insects are the tiny holes they cut into trunks, branches, and stems. These holes may be perfectly round or slightly oblong, sometimes a sawdust-like material falls on branches below these holes or forms a long cylinder as tree borer insects excavate tunnels, and these tunnels are what causes enough damage to eventually require Tree Removal services.

 

 

Stressed or Unhealthy Trees are More Vulnerable to Infestation:

 

Trees that are in good health are much more equipped to deal with the elements and attacks from pest or fungus.  The healthier the tree the more likely they will remain in good condition and be strong enough to fend off attacks and prevent tree eventual tree removal, however, trees that are already diseased or dying are much more vulnerable and more at risk of being attacked by borers.

Trees that are badly pruned and have pruning wounds are often the first point of entry for borers. Therefore it is imperative that trees are always pruned by a qualified Arborist to Australian standards.

 

 

How to Treat Borers:

 

If you suspect your tree may have a borer infestation it is important to get advice from an Arborist as to whether the tree can be treated or in fact, is past the point of saving. Tree Borer Management can be difficult if adults are already present and laying eggs throughout the tree. Trees with many holes already bored through the trunk by borers are often easier to replace than to successfully treat since the internal damage can be extensive after just a few seasons prompting the possibility that the property owner needs to invest in tree removal services for safety purposes.

For advanced infestations, tree removal is the only option for safety reasons and should be completed by professional Arborists to avoid the borers spreading to other nearby trees.  Trees that are riddled with borer holes are past the point of saving. Tree Removal Services will need to be used for safety’s sake; galleries can extend several inches past the penetration point, weakening limbs and branches that may snap with any strong gust of wind. All waste must be burned or otherwise destroy the infected tree’s tissues as soon as possible to prevent any borers that remain from escaping to nearby trees

 

 

Chemical Control of Borers:

 

Chemical treatments are available for trees with minor infestations, though they generally are aimed at preventing re-infestation. Residual insecticides like carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, lindane and permethrin are designed to remain on the surface for many weeks so that any insect that comes in contact with them will die immediately. All woody surfaces must be covered for these materials to work. Although systemic insecticides can control borers that remain close to the bark layer of the tree, but should not be applied without identifying the pest inside your tree first. Sticky traps or pheromone-baited traps can be helpful in this department, but don’t rely on these traps to provide control for your borer problem.

 

 

Prevention is Better than Treatment:

 

Prevention is key if your trees are unaffected, but tree borer insects are active nearby. Trees that are not infested, or have only a few noticeable holes, may be protected from borers by improving care as borers are attracted to trees that are stressed and injured; ie: pruning wounds are a common entry point for the first generation of invading borers.

Always consider remediation options to prevent trees from becoming stressed in the first place by:

  • Apply Aged Forest Mulch at a depth no greater than 75mm and should not be applied close to the trunk of the tree.
  • Keep the water up during dry periods
  • Fertilizing with an organic fertilizer to the root zone
  • Conducting a root plate injection within the trees root zone may also help to improve the health and vigor of the tree.

 

If in Doubt Always Call an Arborist

 

Money invested in your trees is never wasted money. For trees to remain healthy they need to be well looked after and regularly pruned to Australian standards.  Contact Treestylin today for all support and advice regarding the health of your trees.