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Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs

Extreme heat and cold, droughts and floods can leave our plants stressed and more susceptible to damaging borers.

These insects are the immature stage of moths and beetles that feed under the bark and inside the stems of plants. Their feeding weakens and in some cases kills the plant.

Many borers are opportunists, attacking already stressed trees.  We can’t control the weather but we can help reduce stress on our plants.  Start by growing plants suited to the climate and growing conditions in your landscape.

Mulch the area under and around the base of trees and shrubs. Organic mulches like wood chips keep the roots cool and moist and reduce competition from grass and weeds.

Be sure to water new plantings thoroughly and as needed the first few years.  And do the same for established trees and shrubs during extended drought.  This will keep them healthy and help ward off borers.

A bit more information:  Incorporate trees and shrubs into perennial planting beds.  You will create an attractive garden and better environment for the plants.  Plus, planting beds as well as mulching will reduce the need for hand trimming and will keep weed whips and mowers away from the trunks of the trees. And don’t pile soil or mulch over the stems of shrubs and the trunks of trees.  These practices create entryways for pests and encourage disease problems.


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