Return to the Conifers Forum | Post a Follow-Up

white pine borer

Posted by idabean (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 14, 08 at 23:16

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: white pine borer

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 ...


RE: white pine borer

I don't have a need to be neurotic. Ignore em I will

RE: white pine borer

You may have white pine weevil.


RE: white pine borer

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

RE: white pine borer

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 cant 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 cant 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!


RE: white pine borer


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


RE: white pine borer

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.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Conifers Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here