The hackberry tree that provides shade in my Denver foothills yard is losing its bark in patchy white spots. Each spot appears to have a tiny entry hole. Is it a borer of some kind? What can I do to stop it? Help! This tree has been healthy and growing for the past four years (as long as I've owned the house). It has nipple fungus, but has shown no other problems until now.
Hackberry borer? Bark disease.
Can you see something like sawdust around the hole and on the ground? That is the tell sign of borers.
Cristina, yep, the bits of bark (larger than sawdust) are on the ground around the tree. Do you know how to combat borers? I talked to a tree service today but they didn't even seem to know that hackberry was a tree. Sigh.
Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks in advance. --N
The Asian Long-Horned beetle has been wreaking havoc east of the Mississippi. They have not yet been detected in your state, but there are several other borers that could be causing the damage you're seeing. Bayer makes a soil drench containing imidacloprid that has been used to treat the Emerald Ash Borer and related borers. Check with a more knowledgeable tree expert to see if such a treatment would be a viable option.
I do not use insecticides , always finding household ideas, I did kill a couple of them in an apple tree with a wire and another time I used a syringe (without the needle) filled with bleach injected into the hole, bye bye bug!, and now is my preferred method to deal with borers.
Also now I buy trees that are resistant to them.l
I like organic and household methods, too, but when you're dealing with Asian Long-Horned beetles and Emerald Ash borers (and many other borers), they are not very effective. Here's a link dealing with hackberry tree problems that may be helpful:
I also forgot to mention TREEage and Arborjet, two products that are injected into the tree trunk by a licensed arborist. I don't know if either one of those or Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub insecticide (the one containing imidacloprid/Merit) are appropriate for the hackberry tree. That's why a professional needs to take a look.