Pine Bark Beetle infestation

Asked August 8, 2017, 9:25 AM EDT

About a month ago, we had a large pine tree that died very quickly at the lake (Outing MN, Cass County). We didn't know why. Took the tree down immediately and hauled it away. Now the one next to it is nearly dead. I figured out its pine bark beetles by googling the sound the tree was making, and listening to recordings, then finding information and videos. I just want to confirm... when is the best time to take down this tree to try to prevent the beetles from moving on to the next tree? Is it better to take down the infested tree right now or wait until late fall or early spring? And secondly, if the next tree (the 3rd one) already has beetles, is there any treatment we can do to save the tree? They are all really large pine trees and appeared to be healthy. Not sure why this is happening.

Dakota County Minnesota tree health diagnosis of plant problems horticulture evergreen dieback

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Effective treatment of your trees depends upon accurate diagnosis. We can't vouch for the audio method of diagnosis. We suggest several courses of action given the information we have:
1. Hire a certified arborist to come out and accurately diagnose your trees and suggest a plan of action. This is the most reliable way to get your trees effectively treated. Here is how to go about hiring one: https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/how-to-hire-a-professional-arborist/
2. Use our self diagnostic program "What's Wrong with My Plant"? http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/ and see if you can verify your diagnosis. Treatments are listed as you drill down to likely problems.
3. Read our publication on bark borers and compare with the damage you see: https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/nuisance-wood-borers-and-seed-insects-in-homes/

Thank you for contacting Extension.