Pine Bark Beetle

Protect your investment by treating Pine Bark Beetle

Pine Bark Beetle or Engraver Beetle, attack Pine, Spruce, and Fir trees in the Mountain West. The Beetle attacks trees that are stressed. This stress can come from many different events the most common are weather stresses such as drought and construction damage due to compaction of the root zone and bark wounds that limit the natural transpiration process in the tree.

The beetle is small, usually 1/10 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch in length. The beetle and its larvae feed on the phloem of the tree. The phloem is part of the trees circulatory system and lies just under the bark.

Once a tree has been attacked it usually means death for the tree without treatment. Once the bark beetle has established itself in a tree, the insect will kill the tree and then move to nearby trees. If a tree is just beginning to suffer from a Pine Bark Beetle attack the insect can usually be dealt with. However, sometimes the beetle carries blue-stain fungi. Once this fungus is introduced into the tree there is not much that can be done for the survival of the tree. That is why prevention is so important for the health of your trees. Utah has been in a several year drought, because of this almost every tree is stressed and is susceptible to a deadly beetle attack. There are several different varieties of bark beetle and they have a life cycle from 21 days to two months and can lay hundreds of eggs. With such a short life span and prolific reproduction rate, a few insects can literally become millions in a season.

While there are several different ways to treat for bark beetle the most effective and longest lasting is to inject the phloem with a systemic insecticide. When done correctly the tree is protected for a year. This is much longer than spraying the tree or basal drench and much safer for the environment as well. According to CalFire SPRAYING TREES FOR BARK BEETLE IS NOT EFFECTIVE. When a tree is injected correctly the insecticide is placed in the tree in a closed system. This is very similar to a human receiving an injection for medical treatment. This is the most effective way to get the insecticide into the tree. Once the insecticide is inside a stressed tree, the tree is then protected from beetle attack for a year.

The best way to keep your trees protected is with a multi-pronged approach. This includes (1) supplemental water, (2) deep root slow release fertilizer (not liquid), and (3) injections of insecticide. With these three items combined, your trees can withstand the beetle attack that is occurring in the Park City Area.

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