There are over 600 species of bark beetles. Some are extremely damaging to evergreen trees like pine and spruce. They usually attack older plants that are weakened by drought stress or other stresses having to do with the place they are planted.
Conifers that are weak are usually the victims of the bark beetle which if left unchecked will kill mature trees in 2 or 3 years. Some species appear to be able to attack even healthy trees that are near sick trees. If you see tiny exit holes that look like the tree has been shot with a shot gun call Doc at 800-404-3033 or contact your ISA Certified Arborist if you already have one.
Bronze birch borer is a native (Agrilus) beetle related to the famous emerald ash borer. It has been a serious pest of all the white birches except the river birch (Betula nigra) for over 100 years.
The first sign of attack is die back of upper branches followed by gradual decline and eventual death. D shaped holes soon appear on the trunk and swelling occurs on the branches when the tree becomes heavily infested.
Both preventative and curative treatments are available from ISA Certified Arborists as long as it is not too far along with the infestation. Keeping birch trees happy with adequate water and mulch and sometime fertilization will prevent the bronze birch borer from “finding” your beautiful birch. Feel free to call me about this problem if you think you have bronze birch borer.
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