The Sitka spruce has a long and rich history in the United States due to the strength and usefulness of its wood, the softness of its needles, and the regality of its massive height. If your property has a Sitka spruce, you are likely already aware of the tree’s beauty year-round.
Keep the tree looking its best by monitoring the Sitka for signs of insect infestations. Calling in a tree service or pest control company as soon as the problem arises can help protect the Sitka from serious damage.
Here are a few of the insects you need to watch out for.
Spruce Bark Beetles
Spruce bark beetles are tiny insects that live within the bark of the Sitka spruce and feed on the wood within. Healthy, growing spruces likely will suffer little to no damage from a spruce bark beetle infestation. But older or less healthy trees can suffer because the beetles will continue to eat away what little healthy wood the tree has left. Infested damaged trees are likely to be killed by the infestation, which would require tree removal services.
The main symptom of a spruce bark beetle infestation is a reddish brown dust that forms over where the insects are eating through the wood. Severe infestations can cause pitch or sap to ooze from the areas of greatest damage. If you see symptoms, call in a tree service or pest control company for help.
The service can spray chemical insecticides and pheromones on the tree to help kill the adult beetles. Treatment might need to be applied regularly for a couple of years if your tree is vulnerable, while a tree service should concurrently help nurse the tree to better health.
Sitka Spruce Weevil
If you have a young growing Sitka spruce, the spruce weevil is the greatest threat posed to your tree. The beetle-like adult weevils will hibernate in the bark for the winter and the females will lay hundreds of eggs there in the spring. When the eggs hatch larvae, the larvae will eat the nearby tree materials for sustenance. Weevil infestations can lead to slowed growth, premature needle loss, and branch growth deformities. Death of the tree is rare unless the tree is very young and the beetle infestation is severe.
The best treatments involve calling in a tree trimming company to remove affected branches and a pest control service to treat the problem with a chemical solution.
If you notice signs of either of these insects, it may be best to call in a tree service, such as Arbor Man Tree Care.