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Tree infestation of bug help

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by FERT-TEK, Aug 4, 2008.


    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    First let me say I am not a tree guy so please talk down to me with your suggestions so I may understand

    Yesterday, I was doing some routine maintenance to what I am told is a Black Alder clump tree in my back yard. I was trimming sucker branches from its base (they are seen in the attached pictures) and while doing so I discovered what appears to be insect damage at the base of two of the trunks. No insects seen at the time of the pictures. The affected areas also have its bark is peeling off in that area. I also see some defined lines in the trunk where the bark had fallen off. That picture is poor but you can still see what they look like. I have mixed up a batch of Tempo to spray into and around the affected areas but wanted to get the advise from those who deal with this daily.

    After treating the affected areas what should I do to protect / save that tree from the possibly of dying or loosing affected limbs. That tree provides perfect shade from the setting sun on my patio and living room.





  2. olive123

    olive123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    heavy stress on a tree ie planting too deeply etc. in time can lead to beetle (borer) damage
  3. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351

    You are dealing with Borers.

    I would Drench each FALL with Merit 75 WSP, so the Tree will have an adaquate amount of the Medicine in the Cambium Tissue, to Break The "Life Cycle" of Adults that will fly to stressed trees Every Year, and Lay eggs in the bark. When the eggs hatch, the Larve will eat their way inside, only to hit the Medicine Wall and die.

    Trees that get Borers, generally have stress issues and or are in a stress situation.

    Keep 2-3 inches of mulch under that tree, and be sure to have NO MULCH 4 inches between trunk and mulch....I always show folks using their hand width as a guide :)

    The damaged areas of the trunk will "Compartmentilize" an will heal itself somewhat....The scars will always Remain, but these situations will not kill trees AS LONG as the Borer Larve don't eat all the way around the Stem...Girdleing in that case would STARVE the Tree as the Sugars made in leaves would not make it to roots for Storage, and Stress like Droughts, Leaf Expansion ect.

    Protect with Merit or it's Equalivant.

  4. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    I'm not the best tree guy either but...

    I know better than to put a heavy ring on top of the roots. Sorry, just my observation.

    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    Pete and others, In your opinion is this a bad situation?

    I have a couple questions about your recommendations.

    1) I have Tempo (ai.BETACYFLUTHRIN) available right now would you recommend using it until I can get the Merit.
    2) What is the proper way to "drench" the tree.
    3) Would you recommend removing that tree ring? It was placed there when that tree was installed by me about 10 years ago. It was made with leftover retaining wall blocks and is only one row deep all around. I will remove mulch from around the trunk as recommended.
    4) would you recommend a feeding of some sort?
    5) would a tree tar like product work well where the bark has fallen off?
    6) FINALLY, is this a Black Alder like I thought.

    Thank you for your help.
  6. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351

    Don't Panic :)

    Measure the Diameter (width across) of all the Stems @ chest height, and add up that #.

    Get a 2.5 gallon "Jug" that had no herbicides in it.
    Put one 1.6 ounce packet of the Merit 75 WSP into the jug and add 2 gallons of water.....Shake well, wait 5 min, shake well again.

    Around the base of the tree, pull back mulch/soil about 6-10" back and create a "Ring" that will hold the Solution of Merit. BE SURE NO PLASTIC UNDERNEATH MULCH.

    Apply 1 gallon of the shaken solution for each 12" Dia. around base of trunk.

    Put mulch/soil back after it became soaked up by soil.

    Make sure the Tree gets water once a week for the next 2-3 weeks.

    You are good until next August.

    I would recommend an annual feeding in Sept or April, under the dripline, because the leaves are not being recycled in that setting.

    The stone tree ring IS causing the tree xtra stress. I don't like to see ANYTHING except Mulch on a tree within 4 Feet of it's trunk (Butress Root Zone)

    Don't put Tar or Wound Dressing on the tree. Read some books by Dr. Alex Shigo (May He Rest In Peace)

    Post pics of leaves/branch up close to Confirm Species

  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,056

    Pete is right,

    Do not use pesticides without knowing what your target is. Merit will do a good job of treating borers, however, they are there because the tree is stressed & is sending chemical signals that attract the borers.

    I would recommend a two inch layer of good compost out to the drip line after removing mulch, plastic, etc. I would also stay away from salt based, high N fert. Instead use a biologically active soil amendment with mychorrizea.

    Shigo rules! Pete, Did you have a chance to attend the full day seminar we held at the Watershed in Pennington last year with Kevin Smith, PhD? He worked with Shigo for 30 years, it was a great day.
  8. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351


    Is Kevin Smith coming next year??

    I would like to attend....If you have info please send.



    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    Thanks guys, I have already removed most of the mulch and will plan on removing the tree ring soon. I will also pick up the Merit WSP tomorrow and apply it as recommended. I will also follow up with a close up of the leaves for ID and leave the rest to Mother Nature.
  10. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351


    Save a tree :)


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