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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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Poinciana tree has 3 mm holes in the main trunk (where bark

Resolved Question:

Poinciana tree has 3 mm holes in the main trunk (where bark did not grow), what can be done?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.

How many of these holes are there?

Am I correct that bark never did grow there, rather than that the bark was removed or damages?

How old is the tree? Has it always had these holes in the bark?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Anna,

There are about 8 to 10 hotes.
The bark never grew there
The tree is about 10 years old (we planted it about 6 years agao)
We have only noticved the holes recently

Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. If the holes are actually bored into the wood, they have probably been caused by insects. In that case, you'll need to place insecticide inside the holes. If the holes are only in the bark, they may be the result of a bird taking insects out of the bark. Years ago, arborists recommended filling any holes with mortar mix or pruning sealer, but recent research indicates that trees are better at healing themselves if we leave them alone. So, unless it looks like insects have bored into the wood, the best thing to do for the trees health is nothing.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Anna, it looks like insects have bored right into the truck not just the bark (well there is no bark in this area), so what do you suggest we do?

Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
You don't want to leave the insects in there because they will continue to damage the tree. The very best solution would be to have a tree professional determine what kind of insects they are, and then treat the tree. If you want to do it yourself, go to a nursery (an actual nursery, not a Walmart or home depot garden center type), describe the damage to them, and they will be able to recommend an appropriate pesticide. If you prefer not to use a pesticide, you can also take a thin wire and thread it into each hole as far as it will go to kill the insects that way. However, with that method, unless you are actually able to skewer the insect and bring it out on the wire, you have no way of being certain you reached it. You'll have to decide what you think will work best for you. I hope that whatever you decide, you'll soon be rid of the pests and your tree will thrive.

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