Extreme Weather Conditions Cause Pine Bark Beetle Outbreak – Protect Your Trees Now!

The extreme weather we have been seeing the U.S. the past couple of years has caused plant and tree destruction. This destruction causes populations of pests like pine bark beetle to explode because they rush in when the trees’ defense systems are suppressed. By starting to take preventative measures now, you can make sure pine trees in your area remain strong against this pest.

What is Pine Bark Beetle?

There are several species of pine bark beetle, including Southern Pine Bark Beetle, Black Turpentine Beetle, Mountain Pine Beetle and Ips Engraver Beetle. These species attack and kill pines during periods of environmental stress across the country.

How do they do it? These beetles bore into the cambium in large groups and disrupt nutrient and water movement, killing the tree. Several of these species also introduce a fungus known as blue stain. This fungus can kill a tree by clogging its vascular systems.

Where is the threat?

Regions that experience severe weather conditions, like storms, wildfires, and drought, are more likely to see pine bark beetle attacks. Weak trees serve as the ideal hosts for pine bark beetles. These conditions make it difficult for the pine to fight off an attack and increase the severity of an outcome.

What are the signs?

Individual trees attacked by pine bark beetle may look faded or have mixed tan and green needles progressing to red, followed by tree death, over just a few weeks. Cream to red-colored pitch tubes will be present in the lower bole of the tree with entrance and exit holes nearby. As the attack increases and second generations attack the tree, older pitch tubes will turn red. However, keep in mind that during periods of excessive drought, pitch tubes may not be present.

How to prevent Pine Bark Beetle attack

Treatment of residential and city trees is possible, and effective. Treatment with TREE-äge® G4 insecticide via trunk injection seals a small dose of the insect control into the tree, providing you with two years of control. For added protection against blue stain, inject Propizol® fungicide at the time of treatment. It is best to treat when signs are spotted in your area, before your tree is attacked.

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