Friday, July 31, 2009

Maple Trees are More Susceptible to Borer Insects

By David Burton
University Extension

Red maples are a preferred landscape tree by many homeowners.
However, young maple trees are particularly susceptible to bores that may damage or kill young trees according to Jay Chism, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
Insect borers are immature or larval stages of insects that feed on wood. Most bores are attracted to trees that are weakened through some type of injury.
Maple trees under any type of stress are more vulnerable to damage.
The bark over infested areas often is dead and cracking. Young trees can be girdled and killed, and even larger trees can be injured by losing large areas of bark.
Adult beetles typically begin emerging in May and lay eggs from June to September.
Once trees are infected the larvae can be carefully removed with a sharp knife. Applying insecticides like Sevin or permethrin to the trunk and larger limbs may provide some control.
Because the egg-laying occurs over a long period of time, monthly insecticide applications may be needed over the course of the summer. Please read the label carefully before using any chemical for proper rates and application procedures.
“Prune and destroy dying branches, and keep trees healthy and growing vigorously,” said Chism.
For more information, see guide sheet G7190, “Insect Borers of Fruit Trees,” which is available at all MU Extension Centers or online at www.extension.missouri.edu. Chism can be contacted in Barton County at (417) 682-3579.

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