Wood Borer ? in Crepe Myrtle

Asked June 4, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

Hi, two of my three crepe myrtle trees have an issue. Of the four trunks, one produced new growth, but the other three or four trunks did not. In looking closely, I see small holes, approximately 2 to 3 millimeters wide, in them and saw an insect coming out of one of the holes. Any idea what kind of insect it is and how I should treat it? Some of the troubled trunks have new growth coming out near ground level only, but some do not. Tree Age: ~6 yrs old, maybe 5 First Noticed: this season Part: trunks have tiny holes, no new growth Growing Conditions: Full Sun Soil Problems: None, but close to pool decking Pesticide/Fertilizer: two days ago, I applied Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

This past winter was very tough on crepe myrtles. Trunks that did not survive the winter should be cut off at ground level. In most cases they will regrow from the ground. Dead plants are attractive to all sorts of insects, including borers. We cannot say for sure what your insect is, but since the insect is not the problem (the weather caused trunk death), you do not need to apply an insecticide. As the new growth emerges, pinch off all but a few. If you want a three trunk tree, pinch off all emerging growth tips except for three. If you want a single trunk, pinch all but one. Allow only the biggest to grow. Water deeply in time of drought. vw