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Beetles Killing Pines

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Up at the cabin, I've noticed a strange sound coming from some of our trees, kind of like a soft munching sound.

So far, they have all been pine trees, and all have usually been dead or dying.

Anyway, I started looking at the trees closely and have noticed that there is something eating away at them. I can see bore holes, as well as shavings around hose holes and around the base of the trees.

I have done some research and found that, based on the symptoms I have found, there are some beetles that fit the description. The IPS Beetle, Mountain Pine Beetle and Ambrosia Bark Beetle all sound like they could be culprits. The shavings are predominantly white, which makes me think it's the Ambrosia.

These critters seem to be more prevalent in the West. Are they in MN too?

Has anyone had similar experiences? Am I on the right track? Any other suggestions of what this could be? What can I do to prevent this, or at least help? It sounds like tightly packed trees don't help this situation, and this is the case at our place, very dense trees. I can thin it out, but don't want to start taking trees down prematurely.

Thanks for any/all insight!

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Some thoughts-

Sounds like you are hearing wood borers eating your trees. These are probably not the culprit but a consequence. Are you sure they are pine trees and not balsam fir or spruce? If they are pine - you could have bark beetles attacking your pine. Bark beetles are attracted to dying and stressed trees. Their population will build to a point that they can attack, stress and kill healthy trees as well. Not sure what started killing your pine - bark beetles may be a consequence or may have built up to such a point they are the culprit. Sanatation is the key to ridding your pine stand of bark beetles (cutting and removing dead and dying pine material over 2" diameter to remove breeding material). Problem is if your pine stand grew together, are tall and spindly, opening your stand by removing stressed trees may make it suseptible to wind throw. Get advice from a forester on how to treat your pine stand.

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Thanks so much for your input, I appreciate it.

I think you're onto something. Where we are, the trees are very dense, so I can see where some may become stressed and vulnerable. We have about 60% pine, 40% poplar and about 10% birch on our land, and they're all fighting for sun, water etc. We just built within the past 2 years, so that could have stressed a lot of them that were nearest the construction and new traffic.

While I was splitting wood during the Winter, I noticed tunnels and larva inside the pines occasionally. I did start to thin things out a bit this year, just to ease the stress on everything, and will continue to do so. I'll see if I can get in touch with a Forester.

Thanks again!!

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I posted earlier this summer about my Ponderosa pines having trouble, needles turning red on some brances others dying off. All trees still have some green on them others are fine. I did notice some small holes in the bark the other day. What type of spray can you use to go after the beetles or whatever creatures are doing this?

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