The Engraving Bark Beetle in a natural forest environment plays a healthy part in selectively removing the overly mature and weak trees. This natural process creates a thriving forest that can rejuvenate by allowing new species to grow. The healthy trees can fight-off these infesting beetles by smothering them with their sap. Sadly, because of less than tolerable planting situations, many trees in our urban forests are severely stressed making them more vulnerable to these beetle's attacks.
The following factors contribute to a stressed urban forest:
- Planting in to small of an area for their root systems to thrive
- Frequent watering with low volumes creating only moisture to the top soil.
- Removal of important organic soils around them.
- Over fertilizing.
- Planting in wrong areas where they receive too much sun or too much shade.
- Over pruning (removal of more than 25% of the canopy).
- Improper pruning - topping, creating wounds, shaping
Bark Beetles thrive on stressed trees, they recognize the trees vulnerability to protect itself, this stressed condition prevents them from effectively smothering the beetle, they are prime real estate to these insects. They actively seek out trees in the late spring early fall, this is the time our Pines are most susceptible to infestation.
The best way to prevent your trees from becoming a host is by trimming them only from December - April.