Growing from fagus purpurea pendula #559721 - Ask Extension


Growing from fagus purpurea pendula #559721

Asked May 09, 2019, 10:18 AM EDT

Hi, I purchased a Beech tree from Susanna Farm Nursery in Montgomery county a few weeks ago. In the last few days I have noticed what I can describe are “white powdery sticks” growing from the trunk in multiple locations. They are easily brushed off, but reappear. Can you tell me what it is & if it endangers the tree?

Montgomery County Maryland

Expert Response

Unfortunately, these sticks (called frass tubes) are a sign that your tree is infested with ambrosia beetles. They are very tiny beetles that bore into the hardwood of trees and kick out the frass (sawdust) material. These beetles are attracted to trees that are stressed by factors such as too much water, drought, extreme winter cold, etc. European beeches are among the species that are susceptible to them. Here is more information about ambrosia beetles and what they do.

Established mature trees can usually recover, but since this is a young tree and not yet established in its new location, it is unlikely that it will survive. Our recommendation would be removal and replacement.  

Would the tree have come infested from the nursery?  I purchased it April 22nd. Or is that something it would have picked up afterwards?
The Question Asker Replied May 09, 2019, 1:50 PM EDT
It is possible that it could have come infested from the nursery. It is also possible that it could have been infested at the source from which the nursery purchased the plant. 


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