Bartlett’s Tree Topics Blog

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.

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

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

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Posted in Pests and Diseases

Tiny Mites, Big Damage

Mites are minute, plant-feeding arachnids that feed on chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their lovely green color. By removing chlorophyll, mites can cause plant foliage to appear bleached or bronzed. Because mites reproduce rapidly, damage to healthy foliage can occur within a relatively short period.

webbing with hundreds of spider mites

Webbing with hundreds of spider mites.

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Posted in Pests and Diseases

Aphids: Small in Size, Many in Number

Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects. Some of them feed on more than one type of plant— for example, apple grass aphids feed on young new leaves and blossoms of apples until the beginning of summer when they migrate to oats, grasses and reeds for the rest of the season. Others feed on just one food source, like the lime leaf aphid, which feeds only on limes. Many different species exist, impacting a huge range of broad-leaf trees and shrubs.

aphids reproduce asexually

Aphids reproduce asexually and their populations can grow quickly to an unmanageable size.

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Posted in Pests and Diseases

Oystershell Scale: An Unusual Insect Pest

Oystershell scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi) belongs to a group of insects called the armored scales. The “armor,” is produced by a waxy secretion combined with the insect’s own body cast during each molt. This protective outer layer helps shield the oystershell scale from natural predators.

oyster scale

Oystershell scale

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Posted in Pests and Diseases

Decline in Spruce Trees

Over the past decade, spruce trees have suffered an abundance of issues. All species of spruce, including Colorado blue and white spruce, are being affected, but particularly concerning is the prevalence of ‘decline’ symptoms on well-established Norway spruce. Originally a favorite due to the relatively low incidence of health issues, the Norway spruce is now experiencing serious health concerns. Environmental factors such as drought stress, elevated summer temperatures, and wetter growing seasons have played a significant role in twig dieback and needle defoliation.

norway spruce experiencing serious health concerns

Norway spruce are now experiencing serious health concerns.

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Posted in Environmental Issues, Pests and Diseases

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