Q: I purchased a young dogwood from “big box” store and planted it a few weeks ago. A couple days ago I noticed small white cylindrical sticks on the bark. They’re powdery and brushed off easily but reappeared the next day. Can you tell me what this is, and is it harmful to the tree?
A: This is not a good thing.
What you’re seeing are the “toothpicks”, as I call them, that are the sign of an Asian ambrosia beetle infestation.
Your tree will not survive it.
I’d be surprised if the tree wasn’t infested when purchased. I’d take it back and get a new one, after close inspection of the trunk.