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Borers in my willow tree

 
                                                
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Help ! My willow tree has small bore holes in it.  It looks a mess. The leaves have brown spots on their underside.  I want to save it desparately.  Is there anything i can do to save it??
 
Brenda Groth
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could it possibly be woodpeckers?

i did see some kind of new product on the market that you put around your trees to save them from insects that crawl up from the ground..don't know more about it than that..i think it might have been a bayer product...likely not natural but if it will save your tree you might want to chance it?
 
                                                
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I have heard woodpeckers around the area.  But the leaves don't look good either. do woodpeckers hurt your tree?
 
Leah Sattler
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do you have any pictures you could post? if it is an already established pest living in the wood it will be a differnent approach than if it is a visiting one. sticky traps around the base of the trunk work for visiting insects that crawl up the trunk.
 
Brenda Groth
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if it is sapsuckers..they will bore holes one right next to the other..in a row...so that is pretty obvious..generally they are not just after the sap but ants or bugs that are in the tree.

if you have ants in your willow it might be rotton on the inside and dying..but it could take years to die..they will live that way a long time.

don't know about borers.
 
                                                
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will post pictures tomorrow...my tree can't die..... i won't let it....i think the wholes are in a row
 
Brenda Groth
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in a row would likely be yellow bellied sapsuckers..don't think they will kill the tree any more than taking sap out of a sugar maple
 
                                                
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I hope they won't kill it, how do i get rid of them?
 
Brenda Groth
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honestly I don't think you'll get rid of woodpeckers or sapsuckers..you might try looking up and reading about them..i believe they drill the holes for the sap and then eat the bugs that get caught in the sticky sap..usually they are drawn to a tree that already has BUGS in it..as they hear or smell them or something.

your willow probably was already being infested with ants..thus the sapsuckers will make holes to catch the ants..

probably there is a hollow spot on the inside of the tree..that happens to a lot of older trees ..willows and also fruit trees like pear and apple..they get infested inside with ants..you might try to kill the ants..but i don't know if it would deter the sapsuckers or not.
 
Susan Monroe
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Go to Google Images and type in 'sapsucker holes'.  They show a bunch of photos of the birds' handiwork on various types of bark.  If you type in 'woodpecker holes', the photos show an entirely different type of pattern.

This looks like an informative site from UC Davis for Integrated Pest Management (and disease) for willows:  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/willow.html

You might have two separate problems, leaves and trunk.

If you can find a cavity in the trunk with ants, maybe filling it with diatomaceous earth (food grade) would help to discourage them.  It's non-toxic to everything that doesn't have a hard shell; safe for people, pets, birds, earthworms, etc.

Sue
 
                                                
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Thanks. I'll try it all. But I haven't seen any ants,  I'll keep looking.
 
                              
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Hi, did you get your problem resolved? I came across your post because I have the same problem. But, it seems like my problem is more serious.. There was a beehive in my willow,, which is about 30-35 feet tall, and after the bees have left, the branch above it has fallen. When that happened, we noticed a lot of holes going up through the branch. the holes are about the size of a pencil. The leaves still are green though, and I don't believe they have brown spots, like yours did. I hope you saved your tree! We love ours and hope that we can save ours too. I know this thread is almost 2 years old, so hopefully you still have your same emails and one of you will still check it.  Any comments?
 
Brenda Groth
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willow trees are vey easy to grow..i would start a new willow tree, they grow very quickly, with a cutting from the tree you love..look for a healthy  branch this fall and put it in the ground where you would like the new tree to grow..esp if you are going to lose the existing willow.

check it in the spring to see if it is growing, ..if it is..in a couple of years you can cut down the damaged tree and the new one will grow up to replace it..

do avoid areas with underground water or sewage pipes
 
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