ambrosia beetle ambrosia beetles 2

We did not really expect to see a repeat of last year’s problems with Asian Ambrosia beetle. 2014 was the worst year most of us have seen for this pest. Unfortunately, its looking like they are picking up right where they left off. We have had numerous calls beginning the end of last week with reports of ambrosia beetle damage on newly planted pecan trees. So far, from my perspective, this has occurred mostly on later planted trees, which are still undergoing some transplant shock, generating some stress on the tree, which attracts the beetles. Earlier planted trees in the same orchards do not seem to be receiving these initial hits but the beetles can move to non-stressed trees. Any form of stress (water-logging, drought, etc.) can stimulate the beetles to attack. Growers who planted trees this year should check newly planted trees closely for signs of damage by ambrosia beetles (toothpick-like sawdust tubes sticking out of attack holes as seen in photo above). If damage is found, apply a pyrethroid¬†insecticide to the trunk of the trees. Normally, beetle damage is worse on young trees from newly planted to 6 yrs old.

Budbreak is arriving early for pecans in Georgia. I began seeing budbreak on nursery trees earlier in the week and today noticed buds breaking on ‘Creek’ and ‘Cape Fear’ branches. I would expect budbreak to really get going by the end of next week. Lets hope for a warm spring and no late freeze. If indeed it stays warm, we will have the potential for an early harvest this year.

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