Tree Care: Beware of Borers

Tree Boring Pest Control

Tree care includes battling those pesky borers, which are abundant in Utah in the spring.

These insects cause some of the most devastating damage to trees and shrubs, destroying the tree’s vascular system and in some cases causing permanent, irreparable damage. However, most trees can be saved if they’re caught in time and the borers are professionally exterminated.

Just like some illnesses in humans, once a plant gets borers, it’s more likely to get them again. Don’t worry. With proper tree care from experts, you can win the battle against the borers and put defenses in place to prevent them from targeting your yard again.

However, like in any war, it’s wise to know your enemy. These are some of the most common borers in Utah:

  • Ash borer: Also known as the lilac borer, this insect looks half moth, half wasp. It’s huge and lays its larvae right in your tree. It might look terrifying, but it’s only dangerous to trees (not humans). Telltale signs include trunk and branch holes. It’s one of the most common Utahn borers.
  • Honey locust borer: Also called the bronze birch borer, this little, iridescent borer appears innocent, but looks can be deceiving. Its larvae feast beneath the bark, making them hard to spot. They especially love birch, and they’re very hardy. Treatment each spring is recommended.
  • Black locust borer: A veritable plague, indeed. These borers make tunnels through the centers of trunks and branches of locust trees. This is a common borer adept at permanently weakening trees. However, annual sprays can stop them.
  • Greater peach tree borer: The No. 1 killer of cherry, plum, nectarine and peach trees in Utah is mostly black with a bright yellow back stripe, and looks part wasp, part bee. Their larvae hatch, permeate the bark and devour a tree’s cambium layer. You may notice their gummy sap and “sawdust.”
  • Poplar borer: This insect, aka willow borer, can’t get enough of willows, cottonwoods and poplars. You’ll know it’s there by holes seeping sap and sawdust at the tree’s base.
  • Conifer bark beetle: So little you’ll barely notice them, this pest can do some serious damage. In fact, they can take down a whole forest! They work in large numbers and live below the bark. If your tree starts unexpectedly dropping needles, you may have uninvited guests. Yearly treatment can keep them at bay.
  • Black turpentine beetle: Big and ugly, these decimators leave balls of sap (pitch) which, underneath, can contain up to 200 eggs. These pests take down trees fast, so you’ll need an arborist who takes quick action.

Don’t let a borer ruin your gorgeous trees. Treatment is fast, simple and can be effective for a year or more. Protect your yard from some of Utah’s most dangerous threats — call Reliable Tree Care today.