borer treatment?

Asked April 27, 2016, 11:51 AM EDT

I have a grafted 4 in 1 pear tree that has a borer residing in the main trunk. I don't know what it is, what to do about it, please advise. The tree is about 3 years old, it does not appear to be leafing out as nicely as it usually does. I don't recall noticing the holes or the core pellets that are being spewed out of the holes. My son even watched something push out the little bored cores the other day as whatever is inside kept pushing the pellets out. I've included pictures of the holes and the little expelled pellet cores. The tree is currently in a large barrel container. The photo was taken this morning. It is about 4 feet tall, just leafing.

Montgomery County Maryland

5 Responses

Trees that are stressed are susceptible to borer attack. The fact that this tree is growing in a container with a restricted root system and is stressed. Once borers are living in a tree they will steadily go downhill. Treating with a systemic insecticide may slow the process.


Should I eliminate the tree (and the source of borers) so as not to infect my other otherwise healthy trees? What are the chances of it surviving? I'm not inclined to treat with any chemicals, especially if it is only to slow the process and not eliminate it. When I transferred the tree (last week) to a larger container, it did not seem root bound at all. It is now in a huge wooden barrel with good drainage holes. I have another grafted apple tree growing in the same container conditions that is perfectly healthy. I would not want this tree to contaminate the apple tree.

Actually, it would be wise to remove the tree since it can now serve as a reservoir for boring insects and they will attack other nearby trees should they be suffering from drought stress or some other environmental stress factor.
Growing these trees in barrels is also a stress factor. Soil temperature and moisture content fluctuate dramatically and this puts the tree in jeopardy.

Thank you.
I'll be sorry to eliminate the tree. It was a novel idea and rather pricey.
It seems that fruit trees are more maintenance and susceptible to pests and disease than soft fruits like berries and grapes, especially in densely populated metro urban areas.

Your observation is certainly a valid one. We typically admonish homeowners to consider all the potential problems involved with fruit trees before purchase. And, we readily recommend other fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and fig trees. Grapes may require some preventative treatments, but they are much easier to deal with than fruit trees.