TRUNK BORING INSECT CONTROL FOR TREES
Are Tree Injections Safe and Effective?
There are a number of very difficult to control insects and the most difficult ones are typically trunk borers. The good news is we have an excellent tree insect control called TREE-äge® (pronounced Triage). We apply this special tree insecticide directly into the trunk of a tree. TREE-äge® tree injections are recommended for trees that are being damaged by boring insects like the Emerald Ash Borer, Rocky Mountain pine beetle, lilac borer, pinion pitch mass borer, peach borer, apple borer, or Zimmerman moth.
Trees that need to be treated proactively for Mountain Pine Beetle insect pressure include:
- Scotch Pines
- Ponderosa Pines
- Lodgepole Pines
Trees that need to be treated proactively for Emerald Ash Borer insect pressure include:
- Ash Trees
Trees that can be treated re-actively only after insect pressure has been identified:
Learn How to Identify the Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer Treatment is the most common use of TREE-äge®
How Is TREE-äge® applied?
- This special insecticide is applied directly into the trunk at the base of a tree. It is not sprayed on the tree nor applied to the soil.
- TREE-äge® is the name of an insecticide that can be used by Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Companies to protect ash trees; as well as borers attacking other trees.
- TREE-äge is a powerful tool for protecting valuable landscape ash trees from Emerald Ash Borer.
- Like most systemic insecticides, this tree care product is transported through the trunk and into the canopy. Therefore, it will be more effective in a tree that is healthy than in a tree that is weak or has already been stressed by insect pressure.
Trunk injections for trees are performed by drilling a small hole into the tree and injecting a special insecticide directly into the tree.
Common Trunk Boring Insects of Colorado Trees
Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a green jewel beetle that feeds on ash tree species. The beetle originated from Asia and is thought to have been introduced to North America in the 1990’s on solid wood packing material. In the U.S., EAB is a federally quarantined, invasive tree pest responsible for the death or decline of more than 50 million ash trees to date.
This tiny insect has been found in Boulder, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Superior, and Lyons CO. EAB is not the type of insect that you want to wait until after it attacks your tree to treat. This tiny beetle can attack an ash tree and by the time the tree starts showing signs of an attack it might be too late to save the tree.
Treatment for EAB is different for cities where the insect has been found versus cities where it still has not been discovered. It can be confusing as to what the best recommendations are for preventative treatment and to help clarify what treatment is recommended in your city we made a special EAB information page. If you want to be 100% sure that your ash tree does not get attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer we do recommend an application of TREE-age, which will protect your tree for up to 2 years.
Pinion Pitch Mass Borer
The pinyon tip moth larvae feed on new growth of the pinyon pine causing twigs to turn brown and die. This common Colorado insect rarely kill a tree, but they can cause the tree to become deformed.
In mid to late May the larvae emerge from their cocoons and start tunneling into the base of unopened buds, feeding on the pith. Mature larvae will feed on the new growth of the tree. The mature larvae pupate inside cones and then develop into adults. The adults mate and lay eggs from late June through August. The female pinyon tip moths lay eggs in midsummer. Larvae hatch a few days later, create a silk cocoon attached to the bark in the terminal growth where they overwinter.
The Pinion Pitch Mass Borer is another insect that is a clear sign of over watering and can be controlled by cutting back the water in the area that the tree is planted. TREE-age is also very effective at controlling this insect.
The lilac borer, can be a serious insect that commonly attacks lilacs, privet, and other members of the olive family. It is most famous for attacking ash trees, which is why it is also called the ash borer. Trees that have been wounded or are under stress are more susceptible since the eggs are almost always laid in or near wounds that provide easy entry into the plant. We tend to see the most severe attacks on ash trees that are in lawns that are in drought stress or improperly watered.
A heavy infestation may kill a plant quickly while lesser or annual infestations may weaken and stress the tree. Infestations of borers also provide easy entry sites for a fungus that destroys wood. It is recommended that if a tree is showing signs of pressure that the tree is treated with TREE-age and the sprinkler system audited to make sure the lawn is being watered according to the 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering technique.
Zimmerman pine moth is a damaging trunk borer insect that attacks Scotch, Austrian, Eastern White, and Red pines. TREE-age is very effect in controlling this boring insect after it is inside the tree. The presence of Zimmerman moth inside a tree is a clear indication that the lawn or the tree is being severely over watered. Treatment for Zimmerman moth is two fold, first we audit the sprinkler system and adjust the watering practices so they are following the 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering technique. After the audit is completed we treat the tree with TREE-age and this will kill the borers.
Trunk damage appears as white, crusted areas of pitch an inch or two wide at branch whorls. Sometimes this also appears as whitish cones of pitch about one inch in length along with oozing pitch at the branch whorl. The Zimmerman moth caterpillars are located in the trunk of the tree and underneath this pitch. It is common to see associated branches turning brown and dying. If Zimmerman moth is left untreated for many years the trunk weakens the trunk to where it snaps off at that location, causing the loss of the upper part of the tree.
How Long Does a TREE-äge® Trunk Injection Last?
TREE-age treatments last somewhere between 2-3 years depending on the type of tree. TREE-age will take between 1-6 months to push the insecticide through the entire tree. This means the tree may not be fully protected for up to 6 months and this amount of time depends on the type of tree, the size of the tree, the health of the tree, the moisture in the soil, etc. The healthier the tree and the better the moisture in the soil, the faster the tree will push the product throughout the tree.
If the tree is already under attack from insects and needs treatment we cannot guarantee that the tree will be protected until 6 months from the application date. If the tree is healthy we often see control within 1 month from the time of application.
Organo-Lawn is your local tree care expert. Make sure to contact our offices in Boulder (303) 499-2000 or Fort Collins (970) 225-9425 prior to spraying any pesticide onto a tree.
TREE-äge® Insect Control
Recommended Uses for TREE-age Tree Insect Treatment
- TREE-age is a wonderful tool for trees that are surrounded by rocks, patios, or are near water and cannot be treated via the soil drench technique.
- When a tree is under severe insect pressure from a trunk boring insect. Note: The insect pressure needs to be severe enough that it might kill or damage the tree.
- If the tree is suffering from insect pressure from the following insects.
- Emerald Ash Borer (Treat proactively or re-actively once and it will control the insect for 2 years, then treat using Soil Injections every year moving forward) Note: EAB arrived in Colorado Sept 2013)
- Lilac / Ash Borer (Treat every 3 years, treat re-actively only as needed)
Mountain Pine Beetle (Treat every 2 years, proactively only as needed)
- Pinon Pitch Mass Borer (Treat every 3 years, treat re-actively only as needed)
- Zimmerman Pine Moth )Treat every 3 years, treat re-actively only as needed)
Ideal time for Preventative Treatment
Late May – Early September
Ideal time for Reactive Treatment
Leaf on to Leaf Off (Typically April-early October)
Pricing for Trunk Injection using Tree-äge®
Tree Trunk Breast Height Diameter – Cost Per Tree
2-8″ – $137.009″ – $149.50
10″ – $162.00
11″ – $174.50
12″ – $187.00
13″ – $199.50
14″ – $212.00
15″ – $224.50
16″ – $237.00
17″ – $251.50
18″ – $264.00
19″ – $276.50
20″ – $296.50
21″+ – Call for Pricing
Discounts: 5% off between $200-$300, 10% off between $300-$500, and 15% off for $500+
Schedule an Expert Lawn Evaluation
Professional Lawn Care Companies
We understand that insect controls for trees can be confusing due to the many nuances of how each product works. To talk with a tree care expert please contact our office to answer your tree care questions.
FAQ – Tree IV – TREE-äge®
What kills Emerald Ash Borers?
The TREE-age insecticide is an excellent product for controlling boring insects like Emerald Ash Borer. After the application the insecticide will work itself throughout the tree between 1 – 6 months. The boring insects, like the Emerald Ash Borer, should die shortly after feeding on the plants tissue or woody material of the tree. In certain instances where the application was performed after damage to the tree was noticeable, the damage from the insects may be visible for the rest of the tree’s lifespan.
Tree-age will control Emerald Ash Borer, Lilac Borer, Pinion Pitch Mass Borer and other trunk boring insects. Emerald Ash Borer treatment companies must be a licensed through the Colorado Department of Ag to be able to apply pesticides to trees.
How often does TREE-äge® need to be applied?
TREE-age will last in a tree for 2-3 years. We recommend an application every 2 to 3 years, depending on the tree species and the type of insect that we are wanting to control or prevent.