Bark Beetles? #596698 - Ask Extension


Bark Beetles? #596698

Asked September 14, 2019, 1:08 PM EDT

My spruce is ailing and has sawdust-like stuff on the bark. Maybe beetles? What to do? See attached. Thanks.

Howard County Maryland

Expert Response

This looks like a Norway spruce and it is mature. When trees are stressed due to soil compaction, poor drainage, drought, planting too deeply, they can be susceptible to insect and disease issues.

When trees start to decline they can be susceptible to several pests like bark beetles and long horned beetles.  They are secondary problems. When you see dry frass on the trunk this is not a good sign.  The tree is not able to push out sap to kill the beetles.  All you can do is water the tree during dry periods and make sure mulch is not thicker than several inches and way from the trunk.  There is no chemical control and fertilizer will not help the tree.

You may want to contact a certified arborist for an onsite diagnosis regarding the health of the tree and the best way to proceed.  If it is not a hazard, you can enjoy it but will eventually have to remove it.


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