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Ambrosia Beetle

A Technical Report from The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories

Adult Ambrosia beetle

All species of oak and beech.

The term Ambrosia beetle refers to a type of bark beetle/wood borer that bores into stems and branches of trees and introduces fungi into the galleries. Larvae that hatch from eggs laid in the galleries are reared on the fungi. Many of the fungi introduced by Ambrosia beetles contribute to decline of the tree by impeding water movement through the xylem. Most Ambrosia beetles that affect oaks and beech are secondary invaders of stressed trees. Excess soil moisture, construction damage and similar stress are major predisposition factors to attacks. Ambrosia beetles are attracted to trees with bleeding lesions, slime flux or other conditions that produce alcohols.

  • Ambrosia beetles overwinter as larvae, pupae, adults and eggs within infested trees.
  • In early spring coinciding with new growth, adults emerge from infested trees and disperse. Males are unknown in most species of Ambrosia beetles. Females bore into stressed trees and lay eggs in galleries.
  • Larvae that hatch from eggs feed on,fungi produced in the galleries. Larvae pupate in galleries and adults emerge.
  • One generation occurs each year.

Frass produced by boring

Look For
Frass that is expelled on the bark from the boring. Entrance holes on the bark are approximately 1/8" in diameter. Sap is sometimes evident on the bark.

Increase vitality through irrigation as needed and mulching the root zone. Apply Baseline/Onyx sprays to the lower stem and scaffold limbs of stressed oaks and beech when buds swell in spring. Apply a second application in June.

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