Q: Hello Mr. Grumpy….
I am plagued with “Bore Beetles”. They are attacking our Bradford pears. One Bradford pear is dead…however there are several more with the telltale holes of the beetles are obivous.
How can I rid the tree of this pest?
Sandy from Gonzales, La.
A: Dear Sandy,
Even Grumpy, as brilliant as he is, needs
a little more info to diagnose the problem. Can you describe the holes?
Do they occur in evenly spaced horizontal or vertical rows? Have you
ever noticed what look like “toothpicks” of sawdust attached to the
trunk? How long ago was it that your pears started declining?
Q: I only noticed the holes in the fall of 07. The holes are
horizontal and look like they are evenly drilled. I really thought
this tree was going to bloom and bud out…..but it didn’t make it.
A: Mystery solved. Borers are not the problem. The holes were
drilled by a sapsucker. This bird drills holes in the bark and licks
the sap that comes out. Maples and fruit trees (Bradford pear is a kind
of fruit tree, even though the fruits are tiny) are favorites. The
holes have nothing to do with the death of the tree. It must have been
weakened by some other factor. Bradford pears are short-term trees due
to pest and disease problems and a propensity to break up in storms.
You’ll need to replace yours with something else. Grumpy
Well……THANK YOU Grumpy!! I have looked at each and every tree and
the little darlings have tapped a few others. I would have never
suspected such a cute little bird.