white pine borer

mrtulinAugust 14, 2008

All three of my white pines have lost their leaders. They are not really specimen trees; they are on a hillside some distance from the house. However, they will be the only green come wintertime, I don't really want to see ugly.

What to do, now that the damage is done? Beehive close by, so spraying is not a good idea. But I'll hear all suggestions gladly.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how big??? ... cant be all that big.. since you can still see the leader ....

can you get up there to remove it???

strobus will redevelop a leader .. all by itself.. soon enough ... i would NOT suggest anything else be done by you ...

how much did it grow this year????

i had maybe.. 20 footers .... ice storm snapped all the leaders on 6 trees ... next spring they grew 5 feet and solved the issue .... cut them down last fall ... a few years later... because they were 35 feet tall.. and too close to the house ... didnt really fixate on the leaders.. since i never really spent a lot of time looking up there ...


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:38AM
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I don't have a need to be neurotic. Ignore em I will

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:21PM
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You may have white pine weevil.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Yes, that is what I meant. In my outdoor education years I observed the damage they did. Not good for commercial growers. But does 'weevil' change the issue at all, I mean to treat or not treat? It seems to me if the leader is repeatedly killed, it might be a pretty distorted tree. Then we're back to esthetics versus practical concerns again

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 11:40PM
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What to do if anything about white pine weevil on white pine trees? Tough question. On my Norway spruce trees, I have done nothing. Generally on Norway spruce trees the damage is minor, with some exceptions on specific trees with unusually frequent attacks. Norway spruce, like all spruces, produce internodal buds, so a new straight leader is easily established. But white pine weevil will, on Norway spruce, increase the frequency of double leaders/forks developing.

But with white pine, the damage is much more severe. In areas where white pine weevil readily attacks white pine, one canÂt grow it for timber without some special control efforts. Open grown ornamental white pine trees that are repeatedly attacked by white pine weevil develop a very distorted growth form. The tree will at about 6 or 8 feet up develop multiple trunks that grow outward at an angle and then turn upward with a bow-like curve, Typically a weevilled tree will develop 5 to 7 or more trunks. These weevilled trees can be attractive in their own way. You should look around your area and see if you see white pines growing as I describe here. Then you can judge if you want to try to control these weevils.

How to control them? You should do a web search and learn what you can. I think there are two basic methods. One, at just the right time in the spring, you can treat the leaders with some kind of insecticide--I canÂt remember now just what kind. You would not spray the whole tree and you could avoid harming your bees. The other thing you can do is create some physical barrier to keep the weevils from crawling up the trunk of the tree. I am not sure how effective this really is, because these weevils do fly, but are not supposed to be strong fliers.

After you do your web search to find out what you can, you should contact your local state forest service and see if they can offer any good advice. If you have doubts, you can contact the central forest service office in your state capital. Sometimes the local foresters are not really up on insect/disease control measures, but someone in the main state office should be expert. If you still have doubts, you can contact your local university extension agent, who may be able to lead you to some good information. After that, you can try the USDA Forest Service. The Experiment Station nearest you might be able to help you get some really solid information about the possibilities. These people are the "heavy hitters," so to speak.

Good Luck!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:53AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


you had 2 issues... bug problem.. and regeneration of the leader ...

I ONLY ADDRESSED that the strobus will regenerate the leader ...

i did NOT mean to imply that you should ignore the bug issue ...

a tree that dies will NOT re-establish a leader ... i suppose that went without saying ... lol


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:11PM
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Thanks, fellows. Now I have good information. There are only three trees, so I have to think. In one year I would not be able to spray the leader without risking my neck on a high ladder or spraying from the ground which would spray the insecticide more widely. I guess I could tarp the bees, but I'm nearly 59 and you can understand my lack of enthuiasm for getting into a regimen of yearly bee protection and spraying. The bees are near the trees, and moving a bee hive is difficult (heavy awkward infuriating for the bees)

I'll do some research, and post on the bee forum. You know those guys will say "bee safety first" and I'm inclined to agree.

Any other ideas occur to you, please post.

Good info. Thank to you both.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 4:59PM
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