Bark beetles are a destructive presence among Central Texas trees. There are quite a few different varieties of these pests that can attack many different types of trees. Bark beetles will usually seek out trees that are already sick or injured. They can cause a rapid decline of a tree’s health and even contribute to its death. The bark beetle rarely kills a healthy tree.
Most bark beetles bore into the bark of the tree and get underneath to the inner bark. They cause tree frass, a fine dusty material, to form on the tree. You can usually see it when bark falls off, but sometimes you will see it externally between bark pieces. Some species of bark beetles will make little tunnels of frass on the tree that will be pink, brown or white. Other species will bore holes in the tree and you may notice sap seeping from the holes. Some bark beetles go in through the tip ends of branches and you may notice dead leaves at the ends of the branches.
A lot of bark beetles will attack from the top of the tree. You may notice a tree not doing well up high in the canopy. Dead leaves and limbs will start to form. Bark beetle activity not only affects the tree’s health, but bark beetles can also carry fungus spores from one tree to another. Dutch Elm disease can be spread from tree to tree by bark beetles. This can be devastating for an area and is one good reason that bark beetle infestations should be immediately taken care of. You may see fungal growth near the bases of limbs, notice wilted leaves, or a green tree will turn yellow out of season.
You may need to consult an arborist for bark beetle control. Sometimes infected trees need to be totally removed. A good arborist will determine if the problem can be controlled by only removing infested limbs. Other trees in the area may need to be sprayed to prevent bark beetles from infesting them as well.
Austin has an abundance of different tree species that can be prone to bark beetle invasions, including the ever-abundant cedar. Recognizing the signs of bark beetles early can help save not only the affected tree, but other trees in your area. You will need to contact an arborist at tree services Austin to take care of the problem.