Pine trees attacked by wood borers

Asked May 20, 2013, 9:22 AM EDT

Need advise because one tree is bad off at the trunk area a deep hole. I thought about growing aggressive clinging vine around tree bark to prevent them attacking. I have a vegetable garden a few feet and grape vines. What can I do? I have collected a few insects but don't know which ones are causing the problem. Can I mail them to you or send a photo. We have nine pine trees and one is not pine and it also has been punched by a wood borer. I have seen a horrible sawdust borer about 3" long at my window. Thank you

Harris County Texas

1 Response

It is difficult to assess what is causing the problem as your descriptions point in various directions. You can mail the insects to us at the address in the signature line below.

There are several borers that attack pine trees and while some are inevitably going to kill the tree (and usually quite quickly) others are more of a nagging problem. Spraying is not a practical option and planting a clinging vine to climb the trunk won't help.

If the deep hole is large in diameter than a pencil it is not a borer but either old physical injury or some other similar cause. The types of borers that leave visible holes and sawdust are often feeding in dead interior wood or where the bark has died back on the tree's trunk. They are a secondary problem and no the cause of the tree's decline. It is very likely that the recent year's drought has played a big role in the decline and susceptibility of these trees to pests. So watering during extended dry spells is the thing most advantageous that you can do to help the trees.