Japanese Maple Borer Infestation (other?)
This prize Japanese maple appeared to be healthy, thriving tree we have had for 15 years or more, when we left on vacation 10 days ago. The first pic shows the canopy, while the second and third are the trunk and a major branch showing multiple small holes with sawdust residue surrounding them. Yesterday a pest control maintenance person advised this looks like a borer infestation, the tree cannot be saved (although most of the smaller branches are green inside when broken, and the tree should be removed immediately to prevent potential infection of another prize Japanese maple on the other side of my house. Can the tree be saved or should I remove it immediately? Thanks in advance for your consideration and assistance. Sincerely,
Montgomery County Maryland
We viewed your photos. We notice different size holes and so you may be dealing with different borers. Borers are secondary pests and are not the primary reason for decline. They tend to get into weakened or dying trees. Most likely the tree has been stressed for a while. Some reasons for stress and weakened trees include poor drainage, drought, poor soils, root damage, planting too deeply, changes in soil grade, etc. See our publication on these types of problems http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG86%20Common%20Abio...
If the leaves are crispy , we recommend that you remove the tree. As long as the other tree is healthy, the tree should be fine. Make sure the other tree is watered during dry periods and make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and kept away from the base of the trunk.