Are you concerned that a tree in your yard is suffering from failing health due to insects? If it is, it may be time to have the tree removed before it becomes a falling danger, or the insects spread to other parts of the landscape. The following are the signs to look for to see if an insect problem is causing the decline of your trees health.
Small holes in the bark
Many insects gain access to a tree by burrowing into the bark. This means your first sign of trouble is vsmall holes in the bark. You may also notice increased insect activity both on the tree trunk and in the leaf litter around the base of the tree. Depending on the type of insect, you may also see ants going up the tree and possibly into the burrow holes. This is because ants "farm" some tree insect pests for the honeydew they produce.
Severe leaf dieback
Leaf dieback is a common side effect of insect damage. In some cases, it is because the insects are actually attacking and feeding upon the foliage. You may find holes or ragged edges, or discoloration on the leaf surface to indicate such feeding. Often, insects or their eggs will also be visible on the underside of the leaves. Not all insects damage foliage by feeding on it, though. Sometimes insects have burrowed into the roots or the trunk, where they interfere with the flow of nutrients and water to the leaves. When this happens, the foliage is often the first to suffer.
Many insects don't do major damage to trees on their own. Instead, the damage occurs from the diseases they spread. Aphids, for example, often act as vectors for viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens. While aphids rarely kill a tree, these pathogens can prove fatal. Signs of disease include fungal growth on leaves, twigs, or the trunk, discolored foliage, and the development of swollen galls on twigs or leaves.
Increased woodpecker activity
Woodpeckers feed on insects that burrow into trees. You will rarely see woodpeckers drumming on a healthy tree, simply because there are few insects on a healthy tree for them to feed upon. If you notice woodpeckers drumming high up in your tree or see an increase of woodpecker bark damage on the tree, an insect infestation is often the cause.
Contact a tree removal company like Arborcare Tree Service to see if your tree can be saved or if it needs to be removed.