Northern Minnesota maple tree insect

Asked May 13, 2017, 10:29 AM EDT

It's May, and I'm up opening the cabin for the season. I have several native maple trees near the cabin, but noticed that bark is missing in patches, there are groove tracks caused by beetles (?) and there are shavings around the bases. The trees are still budding, so extent of damage is unknown. What is this beetle, and what should I do?

Itasca County Minnesota

1 Response

I don't think the beetle had anything to do with the damage. I suspect a critter of some kind, perhaps a black bear or a porcupine. See here:
http://icwdm.org/handbook/carnivor/black_bears.asp
http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/porcupines.asp
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/forest-grasslandhealth?cid=fsbdev2_027229
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/othercritters/porcupine.htm

The damage is quite extensive, so you may lose those maples. We usually say that girdling more than 50% around the tree severely compromises it:
http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/2007/090807.html