The western white pine tree is a tall, narrow noble-looking pine tree that has beautiful green needles, a grayish white bark, and long dangling cones. The western white pine tree is an amazing accent to any property or large yard but only if the tree is kept healthy and thriving. Part of keeping the tree thriving is to watch out for a couple of the insects that can target, feed on, and damage the western white pine tree.
Here are two types of beetles that can infest your western white pine – and how a tree care service or a pest control service can help save your tree from damage.
Mountain Pine Beetle
The mountain pine beetle only grows the size of a grain of rice but don't let the small size of these glossy black, hard-bodied insects fool you. The pine beetle can easily destroy a weakened or old western white pine tree as the hatching larvae eat through the heartwood. But if the climate recently has been especially arid or drought-like, the pine beetles can thrive in greater numbers that can pose a threat to even the heartwood of a healthy tree.
Catch the infestation early by watching for signs of wood dust in the areas where the beetles are feeding. You should also watch out for signs of general dieback such as the needles turning prematurely yellow or brown and falling to the ground.
For a severely infested tree, you will have to call in a tree removal service to fully remove the tree and its stump to prevent the beetles from spreading to other trees. Milder infestations might be treatable using chemical controls such as pheromone baiting, which leads the beetles away from the damaged tree.
Red Turpentine Beetle
Red turpentine beetles are larger than the pine beetle and have a shiny red-brown body. The turpentine beetles thrive in damaged or even dead trees but then can make the jump over to healthier trees in the area. The larvae and adults will eat through the bark and this feeding will create noticeable pink-colored mushroom knots on the surface of the bark. Turpentine beetles feed on the lower areas of the tree so these symptoms should be noticeable from a standing position.
Hire a tree care service to remove any nearby dead or dying trees to minimize the risk of the beetles jumping to your healthy tree in the first place. If infestation has already occurred, chemical controls can be used to try and wipe out the infestation. The tree care service might also want to trim off any damaged branches to prevent the beetles from coming back to the wounded tree. Contact a business that handles tree removal for more information.