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Author Topic: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?  (Read 3712 times)

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Offline scsmith42

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Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« on: August 31, 2015, 09:45:52 PM »
I'm familiar with the tell-tale signs of pine beetles where you see the "popcorn" pine sap on the outside of the tree.  Today I noticed that one of the large pine's near the house had several popcorns evident on the bark.

Is there anything that I can spray into the hole to kill the beetles w/o killing the tree?
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 10:28:09 PM »
The resin is the pine fighting the beetles. If the tree is otherwise healthy and you are not in a drought, and there are not a ton of beetles the tree could be just fine. :)
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline WDH

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 07:41:17 AM »
Where on the tree are the pitch tubes located?  If very low on the trunk and if there are only a few, it is probably black turpentine beetle, and the tree can survive them.  Ips beetles usually hit the top half of the tree, not the lower but section. 

By the time that you see a lot of pitch tubes, it is already too late to spray. 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 09:15:18 AM »
 

 
 

 
I posted these pictures in Nov, 2012, because I was concerned about the pitch tubes.  They are now fine with no evidence of further damage.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 10:53:03 AM »
It's easy to take trees for granted but I am still amazed at how adaptable they are.  Growing around and through things, protecting themselves from attack.  They can even survive fires.  They can't survive a saw, though.  Good thing they're renewable!  I firmly believe that trees are the number one renewable resource on the planet.  Of course, this doesn't factor in sun, wind and water.

I've got a red maple the stupid horses got to a few years back.  About 20" dbh.  It had a recessed area that they couldn't get to and chew the bark off.  That 1 1/2" strip of bark is feeding the entire tree and it's as healthy looking as the rest of the trees and showing remarkable progress in building itself back to normal.  I suppose this would be a hollow tree if I let it live long enough, huh?
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Offline WDH

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 04:23:50 PM »
MM,

Classic black turpentine beetle pitch tubes. 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 10:11:21 PM »
Where on the tree are the pitch tubes located?  If very low on the trunk and if there are only a few, it is probably black turpentine beetle, and the tree can survive them.  Ips beetles usually hit the top half of the tree, not the lower but section. 

By the time that you see a lot of pitch tubes, it is already too late to spray.

Danny, it's in the bottom 10' or so of trunk.  The popcorn is not as large as what Lynn posted (about 1/4 that size).
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Offline clearcut

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 12:37:43 AM »
A healthy tree can survive a bark beetle attack. The pitch tubes are the tree's defense, pushing out the boring beetle. If the tree is heathy, has enough room to grow, an enough moisture, the pitch eliminates the beetle before it can cause much damage.

Now if the tree is stressed in some manner, and the beetles can sense a tree under stress, the beetle can get past the pitch and infest the tree. The successful beetle then exudes a pheromone that attracts other beetles to the tree. They feed, lay eggs, and the larvae begin to construct the galleries indicative of a bark beetle attack.

But the galleries are not what eventually kills the tree. The beetles will carry a fungus that blocks the water conducting tissues. The tree cannot transport water or nutrients and dies.

Once you have a mass attack, successful egg laying, and fungal infection, the tree is unlikely to survive.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 09:40:06 AM »
Guys, thanks for the additional info (and education).

Is there anything that I should apply or just let nature take it's course?
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Can you save a pine tree once pine beetles get into it?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 10:17:55 AM »
There are systemic insecticides that would enhance the tree's defenses. Some are a bit phytotoxic, so do your homework and follow the label instructions. :)
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.


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