Oak Trees- Protecting From Beetles

Q: Not long ago my neighbor lost a hundred year old oak tree. The problem was diagnosed as ambrosia beetles. Is there any way I can protect trees in my adjacent yard?

A: I recently attended a lecture presented by Bartlett Tree Experts on the effects of ambrosia beetles on the trees of Piedmont Park. Dr. Donald Booth reported that several insects are commonly called ambrosia beetles. Some are native and are found in dead trees, helping to decompose them after they die from other causes. Non-native ambrosia beetles are more troubling. They attack and kill living trees, including maple, oak, crape myrtle, Japanese maple, redbud and others. You must determine which ambrosia beetle was the culprit that killed the neighboring oak tree. Asian ambrosia beetles are active throughout the year but are most likely to attack trees in March and April. If *Asian* ambrosia beetles are *known* to be in the neighborhood, homeowners can hire a tree company having experience in controlling the insects. Or they can attempt spraying their own trees with insecticides containing bifenthrin or permethrin in early March and early April each year.

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