Wood Boring Insects: Destructive & Silent Tree Killers

Wood boring insects feed on the inner wood (xylem) of roots, trunks, branches or shoots of a plant. While there are hundreds of wood boring species that are not considered pests, some species can cause branch dieback or even mortality. Recently transplanted young plants and stressed plants are most susceptible to attack from wood boring insects. Damage occurs when the larvae of wood boring insects chew through the nutrient and water transporting tubes of the plant.

Wood Boring Serious internal damage is hidden inside tree trunks roots and branches  e1560966159166 - Wood Boring Insects: Destructive & Silent Tree Killers

Serious internal damage is hidden inside tree trunks, roots, and branches.

This damage can be extremely devastating. In the early years of an infestation, there may be few signs as the pests bore inside the plant, creating irreversible internal injuries. As infestation progresses, exist holes where adults emerge may be visible in the trunk or branches.  The plant may lose leaves and, in some cases, the beetles will leave a sawdust-like debris or frass nearby.

Wood Boring Emerald ash borer larvae feed and burrow inside a tree e1560966006224 - Wood Boring Insects: Destructive & Silent Tree Killers

Emerald ash borer larvae feed and burrow inside a tree.

With the increase in international trade, many new invasive species have been introduced to North America over the past 20 years. One of them is the emerald ash borer—a metallic green beetle that kills ash trees. It is imperative to treat an ash tree or American fringe tree if the emerald ash borer is nearby. Otherwise, tree mortality will occur. Other wood boring insects such as the Asian longhorned beetle, the velvet longhorned beetle, and the spruce longhorn beetle have also been recently introduced to North America.

Wood Boring Asian longhorned beetle is one of the invasive species resposible for significant tree loss e1560965771222 - Wood Boring Insects: Destructive & Silent Tree Killers

Asian longhorn beetle is one of the invasive species responsible for significant tree loss.

avatar

The leading company in tree care service since 1907.

Posted in Pests and Diseases
Bartlett Tree Experts logo

Being a leader in the tree care industry means continually focusing on learning and innovation. Bartlett’s Tree Topics blog follows in that tradition by offering a place to receive advice on trees, tree pests, tree preservation, and more.

Facebook LogoTwitter Logo
bartlett arborist consultation with customerMake an appointment with your local Arborist Representative to discover why Bartlett is the leader in professional tree care.