Should I eliminate Zigzag goldenrod (Solidago Flexicaulis) from my wooded yard?

Asked February 7, 2017, 10:18 PM EST

This goldenrod ( ) seems to be native to our yard and I've enjoyed having it very much. Recently I found an active adult male locust borer (Megacyllene robiniae) in our basement. It presumably came in with locust firewood. My research suggest that this isn't the time of year that you'd expect such an insect but it is alive and well after a day in the captivity of a glass jar. We don't have locust trees but close neighbors on either side of us do. The load of wood came from one of them. This article: ( ) suggests that goldenrod pollen is a favorite food of the insect. Since we love both the goldenrod and the locust trees this feels like a terrible conundrum. We're hoping you'll agree that the benefits of the goldenrod to pollinators outweigh the boost they give to these destructive insects. I'd appreciate your advise. Thanks so very much, Master Gardener

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

No. We would take goldenrod over locust trees every day of the week.
The good news is that you really don't have a problem. It is not surprising that firewood could hatch out a borer. We generally recommend keeping firewood outdoors and cold until you burn it.
The borer is not of great concern, and they eat pollen from lots of plants so getting rid of your goldenrod isn't going to change their appetite. Meanwhile, your goldenrod is a great native feeding a wide variety of valuable pollinators.