By Kim Melton | May 20, 2015 0

Insects With Power to Kill Towering Trees

Bugs are certainly an essential part of a healthy ecosystem—bees and butterflies, as example. While others, like bark beetles or termites, can wreak havoc on the very foundation of your home and your property, even making your land vulnerable to devastation by fire.

Bugs can quickly infest every tree on your property if left unchecked. An infestation of any sort can kill off a tree within a year, and once infested, it can be exceedingly difficult to eradicate the pests as they move from tree to tree to tree.

Boring Insect Risks

In Colorado, you need to take specific care to watch out for boring insects. Bark beetles are a very common foe in the evergreen forests of Colorado. If you’ve ever seen pine trees with brown needles at the crown or the edges of the tree, you’ve seen the beginning effects of a bark beetle infestation.

Bark beetles are a fairly recent addition to the Colorado landscape. The bark beetles in Colorado have claimed thousands of acres of evergreens. If the evergreens on your property are turning brown at the crowns, you should immediately trim off the infected limbs/branches and burn them. Also, take active measures to keep your tree strong and healthy. Bark beetles are less likely to be able to infest a healthy tree.

Boring insects don’t just attack evergreens. Deciduous trees (also known as shade trees) can become infected with tree borers. These insects bore into the bark of shade trees, making them extremely difficult to detect and even more difficult to eradicate.

Tree borers typically target unhealthy trees. From the insects’ perspective a tree with lowered resistance is easier prey. It’s the same as for humans suffering from immune system deficiencies; they’re more vulnerable to colds, flu, etc.

The infestation of a tree can take anywhere from one to three years to show the damage being caused by beetles. Thus the infestation often goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

Check for Infestation

You can witness the evidence of shade tree borers by peeling back swaths of bark. Beneath the bark, you’ll see squiggly lines where the insects have eaten their way through the tree. Often, affected trees will have brownish branches at the crown and periphery of the limbs. You may also notice an influx of woodpeckers in the area as these birds will happily feed on the smorgasbord of boring insects living inside your tree.

Take Action

If you suspect you have a bug infestation in one or all of the trees on your property, call an arborist. Donavon Arborist of Denver brings decades of experience diagnosing infested trees and even trees that simply need a good grooming to last longer. Catch and treat an infestation early enough and you can prevent further damage.

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