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Protect your Dogwood from Borers in North Fulton County

Posted by Christine Crandall on Apr 6, 2019 4:52:15 PM

One of the major risks to Dogwood trees is boring insects. They can infest a Dogwood tree and kill it during one or two seasons.


What is a Dogwood Borer?

The Dogwood Borer is part of the clearwing moth family. It has clear wings, and it has a body like a wasp. They lay eggs in injured bark on fruit and flowering trees. The larvae bore their way into the cambium of the wood.

What do borers to the tree?

Because of where the Dogwood Borer lives, in the cambium of the wood, it does extensive damage to this part of the tree and can kill branches or even the entire tree. They are especially attracted to grafted trees or trees with damaged bark.

How can Dogwood Borers be prevented?

  • Avoid grafted trees: Because Borers enjoy the grafting collars of Dogwood trees, one of the best way to avoid boring insects is to avoid grafted trees.
  • Insecticide: There are insecticides available to be used at the trunk of the tree. Your local extension office will have more information.
  • Avoid harming the trunk: Second to grafting collars, borers greatly enjoy an easy entry. If you weed eat or mow around the trunk of the tree, make sure to take care not to run into the bark causing damage.

How to tell if you have Dogwood Borers

There are a number of symptoms of borer infestation, and if they are caught early, it greatly increases the chances the tree will survive with minimal damage. If the bark has been infiltrated, it will turn a reddish color and look wet. Bark may flake off of the limbs or trunk, and leaves may turn a funny color. In severe cases, entire branches may die off. It is important to inspect your Dogwood for any type of damage and take the steps necessary to eradicate the problem.

Be Careful when Pruning

Dogwood trees are fairly low-maintenance, but they may require a little pruning here and there. Don’t prune in the spring and early summer, when boring insects are most attracted to Dogwoods because they are active.

Don’t let Boring Insects Ruin your Dogwood

Even if you are careful and don’t injure the bark of your Dogwood, you can still get boring insects just because of the nature of the tree and the fact that there are many grafted trees. If allowed to infest the tree without any intervention, they will kill the tree and move on to other Dogwoods if available. However, if you catch it early and take care of it, your Dogwood will continue to make every spring beautiful for many years to come.



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Topics: Dogwood