Pine Beetle on the Cape ?!? pics

sooey(7MA)May 30, 2008

Hi Kids,

Well, I have heard about this pest/issue on the local level...local being within the town of Brewster on Cape Cod...but nothing from any other 'official' source. I have been told that several people in our area have had dead Pine trees removed from their lots only to find out that the trees died from an infestation of the Pine Beetle. I checkd the Pitch Pine on our lot and have two trees that I am concerned about. I have called the experts who will be here on Monday for an evaluation. I admit to being in a bit of a panic.

I have taken some pictures of the trees I am most worried about and thought I would post them here. I'll also post them over on the Tree forum. So, what do you think...? Do we have a problem? Pine Beetle or something else? Any thoughts/experience?

Here, you can see this brownish clump of pitch that has formed on the outside of the tree.

Some have this milky pitch 'flowing'.

One more...

Thanks for looking and for any help/advice.

sooey

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jant(z6MA)

Sooey...I feel for ya. It does appear to be a bark beetle infestation. In CO it reached epidemic proportions....we lost 75% of a Ponderosa Pine stand in our horse pasture ...this was 10 yrs ago. Drought and trees too close together that are struggling for space/water also accelerates the process...and it's quick. Browning of needles starts to occur within several months.

But I'm going to leave it to your experts. I seem to remember when ours were hit that the guy said if there are a LOT of holes in the trunk that the tree is successfully fighting off the beetles....if there's enough water/sap the tree can expel them.I don't remember anymore than that though. There are no chemicals to treat the trees...it is fatal. Only one chemical is successful (you might Google for that..don't remember) and that is strictly preventative and the ENTIRE tree must be sprayed...there are no systemics to treat this. I remember sprayers going up and down our country road for days hitting hundreds of them. Very pricy. Ours were gone before we knew what hit them....over 50 of them.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:16PM
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jant(z6MA)

BTW...the reddish pitch is that color because it's a combination of boring wood dust and pitch. Hope you hear good news. If you're short on trees or need them for shade you certainly might consider the preventative spray if the guy thinks the infestation was unsuccessful.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:23PM
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jant(z6MA)

Maybe the white sap is where the tree is expelling the larvae?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:26PM
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sooey(7MA)

Oooo...expelling the larvae? I hope that is the case. I have been told that there is a systemic product by Bayer that you water in...fingers crossed xxx. I am also told that it takes about two weeks for it to have any effect. VERY expensive to treat. I wish Monday would hurry up and get here. The tree with the milky, viscous sap is coming from the tree that my 99.9% squirrel proof bird feeder hangs from. I'll be heart sick if it can not be saved!

sooey
who is NOT doing the happy dance... :(

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:49PM
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jant(z6MA)

Sooey....there is no systemic that works. Bayer didn't even work on my roses lol. Don't know who told you that but do some Googling and get some good info. Only pros have access to the spray that prevents infestation...not to mention the truck sprayers that can get the entire tree covered. Don't waste your $$ on Bayer.

Doesn't that look like larvae or "something" in the sap?? I think you need to do some pathology...lol. Take some off and cut it open?

Not doing the happy dance here either...PO's planted 6 huge CO blue spruces and they're dying from 2 different diseases...well, hugely disfigured/dying branches which means they're GONE. Already cut down one the other day. NOT "native" doesn't work usually...And planted in the SHADE of Norway Maples? Yep...that's a landscaper for ya.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:15PM
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jant(z6MA)

Sooey....there is no systemic that works. Bayer didn't even work on my roses lol. Don't know who told you that but do some Googling and get some good info. Only pros have access to the spray that prevents infestation...not to mention the truck sprayers that can get the entire tree covered. Don't waste your $$ on Bayer.

Doesn't that look like larvae or "something" in the sap?? I think you need to do some pathology...lol. Take some off and cut it open?

Not doing the happy dance here either...PO's planted 6 huge CO blue spruces and they're dying from 2 different diseases...well, hugely disfigured/dying branches which means they're GONE. Already cut down one the other day. NOT "native" doesn't work usually...And planted in the SHADE of Norway Maples? Yep...that's a landscaper for ya.

Oh...please read this professional article on beetles. Scroll to Chemical Control.

Here is a link that might be useful: beetle

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:20PM
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sooey(7MA)

Thanks for the link, jan...now I'm worried. I got the info re: the systemic Bayer stuff from folks in our neigbhorhood who have used it and, the guys at Agway in Orleans. One guy in Agway told me not to bother with the product because it was so expensive. He also said that the pros have stronger 'stuff' that will work better. Not sure if he knew what he was talking about.

Sorry about your Blue Spruces. Such beautiful tree, you hate to see them in stress. You would think that a landscaper would know better. Good luck.

sooey

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 5:55PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Oh sooey, your trees look awful. I wish I could help, but I have no experience or expertise to offer. Pitch pines are not glamour trees, but they're a major part of the forest and landscape of SE Massachusetts and it's hard to imagine the Cape or Plymouth without them.

I hope your experts have treatment options and some hope.

Claire

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:31PM
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sooey(7MA)

Thanks, Kids. Yes claire, I hope the pros can offer some help. As far as I can see, it's just these two trees that are showing the damage. Time to get out and walk the lot. If it turns out to be Pine Beetle, the neighbors need to know. I want Monday to get here!

sooey
:(

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:20AM
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jant(z6MA)

Sooey.....I don't know why I just thought about your trees (I'm transplanting a zillion shrubs this morning lol...) but I just googled and your tree IS expelling the larvae! Now whether it gets rid of all of them who knows but maybe there's hope??

Click on "Expelling Invaders" photo.

Here is a link that might be useful: bark beetles

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 12:10PM
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sooey(7MA)

Hi jan, thanks for the link. Those pictures are awful but it does indeed look like one of my trees is trying to expell the larvae! Oh, I hope that is the case. The guy from Bartlett comes tomorrow at 1:00 so I am trying to keep myself busy until then. I am sure that while we have the problem now on the Cape, it may soon become a problem for the entire state. That would be a real kick in the pants... MA with fewer Pitch Pine...boohoo

We just got back for working in the garden...trying to get it ready to plant. What a huge job it is. We will sleep well tonight.

I hope your zillion schrubs are all in their new homes with lots of water and good light. Job well done!

Thanks again for the link. I'll let you know what Mr. Bartlett says tomorrow.

sooey

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 6:19PM
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sooey(7MA)

OK, Kids...yes, we have Pine Beetle. A nice guy from Bartlett Trees was just here and gave me the official word. We are going to treat with a topical spray. He looked around and found only the two trees we had already identified. He will treat those two as well as 13 others as a preventative. We may or may not be able to save the two trees with the damage. The Pine Beetles go after trees in stress...lack of water, wind damage, recent construction...our new patio(?). He said that we need to make sure we pick up and carry out any fallen pine trees or limbs...the Beetles are attracted to the pine pitch that oooozes out. He also recomended that we feed the trees and water them when the weather is dry. He said they are all nice trees, full and mature and worth trying to save...of course he would say that. The price is not as bad as I thought...$100. per application and we will need three applications...$300....well worth it. He will also spray some pesky poison ivy that I have not been able to keep up with.

So, that's it...yes we are infected but it can be controlled. We will watch for any other issues with any other trees on the lot.

Oh, jan...he did not think that the white milky pine pitch was an idication that the tree was trying to expell the larvae...just a different pitch. But...I think I'll give the tree the benifit of the doubt.

sooey
who feels a little better.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:22PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Fantastic, sooey!! So good to hear that it's only a few trees and that effective treatment is available.

Do you know what the topical spray is?

Claire

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 4:52PM
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jant(z6MA)

Glad you're going to spray Sooey! That sounds quite reasonable. I believe it's Sevin they spray with....has a fancier name than that but essentially that's what it is. When the beetles start boring, they's deaaad.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 5:40PM
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sooey(7MA)

Hi Kids,

Yes, I am happy that we are going to attempt to contol the Pine Beetle. I think what they will use a spray of Permethrin. At first I thought he was saying Pyrethrum...but isn't that a flower...a mum, I think? So, it must be Permethrin. He was very clear that we may not be able to save the two with the damage but he was more sure that we will be able to stop the spread to the other trees.

jan...I don't think that sevin is available. The Permethrin is a 'natural' spray. I can't tell you exactly what that means, but I think sevin has been off the market for a few years (?). He talked about sevin and how it was the best product but, not very safe and can no longer be used.

So there we have it. I'll keep you posted.

sooey

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:59AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Permethrin is a synthetic version of the pyrethrum compounds. Good multi-purpose pesticide according to Wikipedia.

I bought some yesterday at the advice of a local Agway guy to treat the Azalea sawfly larvae that are munching on one of my rhododendrons. He said it should work on lily leaf beetles as well.

Permethrin is in the stuff I spray on my garden hat to keep the mosquitoes away.

Professionals probably get a much more concentrated product than is available to consumers.

Claire

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:48PM
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sooey(7MA)

HI Kids,

Good info as always, Claire. We will see how this stuff works. I'll check out the link as soon as I finish here.

I just got back from some errands, one stop of which was to Agway in Orleans. While there, I saw that they still sell Sevin. I have no idea of the strength but, they sell it. I'm not sure what that means, but I guess it is still available.

It's a beautiful day, a little warm and the pollin is crazy but, a gooe day just the same. Enjoy!~

sooey

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:27PM
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