Watters Garden Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bark Beetle Epidemic Infects Local Pines
(February 26, 2020) Prescott, Arizona
An increase of Bark Beetle found in local trees. This tiny beetle is of great concern to anyone with Ponderosa Pine, Pinion Pine, and any other pine trees growing in their landscape. Bark Beetle bores into the trunk of trees and girdle the live tissues under the bark.
On the Go Answer – Readers Digest-type Condensed Version of this Article
Step 1 – Deep, monthly irrigation of pine trees through July.
Step 2 – Feed trees with 7-4-4 “All Purpose Plant Food.”
Step 3 – Apply “Plant Protector” to keep beetles out of healthy trees.
Step 4 – Spray infected trees with “Multi-Purpose Insect Spray.”
Step 5 – Thin trees as necessary.
Signs of Bark Beetle Problems
Early signs are needles fading from dark green to a pale green, then to straw followed by rusty red colors. Other outward signs are sap leaking from holes in the trunk or fine sawdust showing. The larvae stage of this beetle is the size of a grain of rice, and the beetles themselves are just one-quarter inch long.
Stressed Trees Attract More Beetles
There are many contributing factors to beetle infestation. When a pine tree is stressed, it lets off a turpentine odor that attracts more Bark Beetles. Tree stress is triggered by drought, damaged roots due to construction, or lighting damage.
Keeping Trees Healthy
Prevention is the deep watering of the tree. It is recommended to water native trees through summer once each month to a depth of 24 inches. Combine this deep water with an annual feeding with Watters 7-4-4 “All Purpose Plant Food” to increase the health of your pine trees.
Plant Protector – is a liquid beetle killer administered at the base of trees that systemically taints th
e wood under the bark. After digestion of this treated wood, the beetle dies, and the tree heals itself. One treatment should be administered as a defense to further attacks and best applied each spring.
With trees that are already infected the entire trunk should be sprayed with “Multi-Purpose Insect Spray” to prevent further damage.
Remove Dead Trees
Dead trees should be cut down to reduce fire danger and the risk of a tree falling over. The brush should be chipped or hauled off, and the lumber cut and split. Thinning trees is an excellent long term preventative measure.