Last week, with the assistance of an outside contractor, we removed several dozen dead pine trees at Olde Florida. The pine trees died as a result of damage sustained from Hurricane Irma. When Irma moved through Southwest Florida on the evening of Sunday, September 10th, her powerful winds broke off numerous large branches, snapped trunks and shifted trees, disturbing the root system.
When a pine tree receives severe physical damage it becomes extremely susceptible to pine bark beetles and borers. The insects usually enter the tree at eye level and above, and once they infect the tree, tiny holes, dribbles of sap or little dried mounds of sap can be seen on the bark.
|Pine Bark Beetle/Borer Damage on a Pine Tree at Olde Florida|
The pine bark beetles and borers rapidly attack weakened trees killing them. When this happens, it is best to remove the infested tree(s) quickly so the insects do not move to nearby trees. The dead trees can also pose a safety hazard for golfers.
Once the insects attack a tree there is nothing that can be done, but on healthy trees, bark sprays with an insecticide can reduce the incidence of attack. My staff has, and will continue making bark sprays on specimen pine trees that border our golf holes. Unfortunately, we will probably lose a few more trees at Olde Florida, but I am hopeful that the worst is behind us.