[NAFEX] Saperda candida aka Round headed apple tree borer

Mark & Helen Angermayer hangermayer at isp.com
Fri Nov 9 10:51:39 EST 2007


Here are a few methods you may or may not be familiar with along with some
pros and cons:

Window screen is supposed to offer good protection against borers and small
animals.  The window screen must go down in the soil for an inch or two.  I
quit using screen because it holds too much moisture and causes rot on the
trunk, but we get quite a bit of rain here.( 40")  Also I wrapped the wire
around the trunk several times, maybe if you just wrapped it once you
wouldn't have the problems I had.  Another potential problem is with shading
on the trunk you will make them more susceptible to burr knots.  Some
rootstocks are more of a problem (M111) than others.  The screen should be
against the tree at the top so as to prevent the beetle from crawling down
inside the screen.  Some people staple the screen to the trees, I used
string, either way it's a labor intensive project and constant adjusting to
prevent girdling.

Some have had luck using a very thick coat of surround painted on the trunk
and dribbled around the base of the tree.  The disadvantage is applying all
that aluminum to the soil.  Plus I'm not familiar enough with surround to
know if it's within label requirements.

You mentioned you used paint and lime.  Cornell recommends paint and LYE.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <David Maxwell>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:03 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Saperda candida aka Round headed apple tree borer

> "Whoops there goes another apple tree plant.."  Two more, actually,
victims of
> Saperda candida.  The one I knew about, as the borer holes were visible
and I had
> been attempting control.  The other was a few cm. below the soil surface,
> and not visible.  (Both trees blew over, broken at the weakened trunk, in
the storm
> last week).
> My understanding is that this is a relatively new problem, although around
the early
> 1900's in New York it was suggested that Saperda could wipe out the entire
> industry.  It then became nothing more than a minor pest, with the
introduction of
> regular sprays for other pests.  Now, with the growth of organic
agriculture it is
> making a come-back.  My own trees are largely "organic", (although it is
more by
> neglect than philosophy), and I am having ongoing problems with Saperda.
I have
> painted the trunks with a mix of latex paint and lime.  Where I can detect
the frass
> from Saperda activity I have been injecting insecticide directly into the
holes.  (But I
> have not been able find out what insecticide is the best one to use.
> references specify endosulfan, but this has been removed from the market
in both
> Canada and the States.)  (This process of injecting insecticide directly
into the holes
> is my own invention - I am a physician, and have ready access to syringes
> needles.)  The advice to poke a wire into the holes is a complete waste of
time - the
> holes are frequently crooked, and the wire doesn't get up (or down) to
where the
> grub is.  Has anybody got any more ideas or experience in managing this
> The attacks below the soil surface are a particular problem, as I can't go
> uncovering the roots of 181 trees (used to be 183...) every few months,
looking for
> signs of attack.
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9:21 AM

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