Longleaf pines grow in sandy or clay soil, can live for hundreds of years, and feature distinctive, twisting segments of long needles. The longleaf pine was once plentiful in the United States but has since dwindled in numbers. If you have a longleaf pine on your property, taking care of the tree can help preserve one of the nation's most beautiful tree types.
Taking care of your tree includes monitoring the longleaf pine for signs of insect infestations that can cause harm to the tree. Here are a couple of the insects that can infest a longleaf pine.
Black Turpentine Beetles
Black turpentine beetles are brownish red to black insects that burrow through the bark and feed on the healthy tree tissue inside. The beetles tend to target areas of bark that were already damaged or the roots of the tree. If the beetles remain localized around injury sites, the overall damage to the tree won't be severe. But extensive root damage or trunk damage can result in tree mortality.
How can you tell if your longleaf pine has a black turpentine beetle infestation? The areas where the beetles are eating through the bark will both kick up some dust and create a sap leak.
If your tree is in the early throes of infestation, call in a tree service company to see what they can do. They may be able to apply an insecticide to help evict the bugs. The combination of the insecticide and the tree's natural defenses can prove enough to prevent the beetles from coming back the following year. Don't trim off wounded branches as that can simply make a larger wound to attract more beetles.
Pine Seed Bugs
Pine seed bugs are small, seed-shaped bugs that feed on the sap of the longleaf pine. The seed bugs don't cause any permanent damage to an otherwise healthy tree, but they can help weaken an ailing tree. The main problem with the pine seed bugs is that the bugs move towards warmth in the fall, which means you can end up with a bad bug infestation inside your home. Seed bugs don't bite or breed indoors so the invasion is mostly a nuisance. Cleaning up an infestation that has already moved inside can be simply performed with a broom.
If the infestation is still confined to your longleaf pine, call in a tree service company to remove the bugs before they have a chance to move into your home. Consider using a company like A-1 Expert Tree Service.