I have found an odd species of borer infesting the trees
in my area.
It does not confine itself to any single species, but seems to move
from tree to tree, somewhat like a plague. They originated in a
stand of Chinese elm (ulmus parvifolia) and then moved to our
bur oaks (quercus macrocarpa) and our native version of white ash
(fraxinus americana). As these trees are few and far between, the
borers have recently moved to the cottonwoods (populus deltoides)
which line the creeks. The borers cut a half inch wide hole, usually
straight into the trunk. They kick out mounds of sawdust every so
often, and attempts to plug thier holes are removed, always during
the evening. I recently was forced to destroy some of the elms as
they had been completely ransacked by these borers, a cut into the
trunks revealed five bore holes within two inches of each other, with
4 more spaced farther away. I did manage to track down one of the
borers in the log. It was about 2 inches long, with reddish pink
coloring and black "spines" all along it. It had a sickly white
underside to it also. I was wondering if you could possibly say what
type of borer this is, I suspect some kind of carpenterworm, but the
local government offices have been no help. I would like to at least
slow these things down in time to save the Ashes and Oaks, some of which
are over three-hundred years old, which is virtually unknown in my area.
(northwest Kansas) Thanks for your help!
The Texas Agriculture Extension Service has a web page on wood boring
insects and their control:
The Morton Arboretum has a leaflet on borers:
The University of Minnesota also has info on insecticides for control:
Anthony R. Brach
I unfortunately do not have a text available at this time, but I am just
writing to suggest speaking to your county extension agent, who should be
located in your county seat city government center. The agricultural
extension agent, normally associated with your state university, should have
a wealth of information on your particular state tree pests.
In the event this is fruitless, try a web search on your state university,
and call their offices to connect with a forestry or forest pest individual.
Please write back in the event you do not find the information you seek. In
the meantime, I will check my library to see if I have anything on pests in
Thanks for using NEWTON!
Richard R. Rupnik
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Update: June 2012