TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2001
You know our row of pine trees that lead
out to the mailbox? They haven't been
healthy in 4 or 5 years, probably more. And
this last year they started to die. We all knew
it was spruce bud worm and let it go at that.
A few days ago Babbs and I began cutting the
dead ones down. Then Caleb and Kate and
Jordan went out and began scrounging around
the logs, and made a hideous discovery. Borers!
And we're not talking about any of the borers
pictured in the Pests of Oregon book; these are huge.
Pale, nasty, pus-colored, and some of them bigger
than my biggest finger!
It changed everybody's
mind about these rampagers hidden beneath the
bark of our dying pines. These things
are just too big and disgusting to be treated
lightly. We're going after them, whatever the
hell they turn out to be.
We're gonna start running
e-mail pics and contacting the TV and the news-
papers. Lots of people are aware of the diseased
pines around here, but few ever seen pictures of the
bastards that are causing the disease. It's time to
expose these terrorists.
This is war! Where's the Extension Service? We
can't even locate their e-mail number. Where's
KEZI tv, our ABC affiliate? The woman that owns
the station lives right across the road. She's
bound to have these same pines on her property,
and I'll bet those trees have these same bastardly
borers. It's time we went after their asses. Anything
this big is vulnerable. What the devil are they?
BORERS MAKE THE NEWS
Here's Channel 9 come out to shoot the borers. Yeah, shoot those borers down!
Al Peterson on the left and Jim Pfalzer on the right.
Tell us, Ken, what are these things we've come to shoot?
Well, we've had a bunch of answers come in over the email but so far none have agreed with the others so we are getting an expert to come today to look at these critturs.
Three of the suckers, lying in wait for the man from the extension service. Here he comes now.
"Ken, my name is Steve Bowers and I am a tree man, not an entomologist so I can't give you the skinny on the boreres but I can tell you about your trees."
"Yep, those borers don't kill the trees, they come in later and eat the dead wood. So the rest of your trees should live on." "Yeah," Kesey says, "You want to bet?"
From Timo Toiviainen:
We have those borers here in Finland too.Tree
destroyers Cossoidea (Cossidae)family member called
Cossus cossus described as disgusting smelling,10cm
long.Lives about two years inside a tree then leaves
to find a place(usually underground)to cocoon over
winter and eventually turns into a brown/grey
butterfly.Our dog Roope hates them because of the
smell.Here it lives mostly in birchtrees.
From js slobvan:
We get the same thing in White Pine logs here in western Massachusetts. I've never seen them in live trees (though I haven't really looked...). After the winter, I'll often pull out blow-downs with the tractor, and have guy with one of those portable sawmills come over and cut boards from them. If those logs have been down long before I get them, they'll have those pine borers in them. Those buggers are lively! If I don't sticker the lumber up right away (stack
the green boards with 1" spacers between them so they'll air dry), those ugly buggers make a mess of the wood.
From Gloria Gazzola:
HELLO PRANKSTERS! SOOOOOOOOOOO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR TREES. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT BUGGGS REALLY BUT THEY LOOK YUKKKKKKYYYYYY! I'M ONLY 25 SO I KINDA MISSSSSED THE ERA OF THE BUS BUIT AM SO FASCINATED BY IT ALLLLLLLLL. PEACE OUT!!!!!
From cj becker:
The impressive larva shown on the prankster web site is surely Prionus californicus. This larva feeds on the roots of many trees both imported and native. It also lives on dead or decomposing wood of coniferous trees. It may therefore not have been the cause of death. The adult is an equally impressive dark reddish-brown, long-horned beetle that is attracted to lights at night in the summer and fall. The larvae of this beetle have been used as food by native Americans. Enjoy!
From Freddy Hahne, aka R We Really?:
Ahh! Those are your garden variety flat-headed borers (well, maybe no garden variety). You can tell they're 'flat-headed' because they leave oval shaped galleries. They are some big durn suckers, though.
Hmm, a brief perusal of General and Applied Entomology (V.A. Little, 3rd ed.), indicates these might be the Pacific flatheaded borer (Chrysobothris mali). I don't think it's the Prionus californicus as one of your posters thought.
You might be interested in this page:
lots of good stuff.
Even more interesting (to me anyway) is that the flatheaded borers are in the Buprestidae family, which means something akin to "cow's belly". Back in bugs class in school; I found no end of entertainment in comparing my (then) girlfriend's belly to the Buprestidae standard. Not that her belly was anything *but* the firm, flat, toned pinnacle of
FINALLY THE REAL SKINNY!
From James R. LaBonte:
I'm an entomologist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. My specialty is beetles. The size of your grubs restricts the possibilities to two species of native longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). These would be the California prionus (Prionus californicus) or the ponderous borer (Ergates spiculatus spiculatus). Your grubs are so large I'm inclined toward the latter. It is our largest beetle, with adults up to over 2 inches long and grubs up to 3 inches long. Adults are out in the summer and don't feed. Larvae can live for several years and, as you discovered, bore in wood of coniferous trees. The ponderous borer almost never attacks a live, healthy tree, instead feeding upon dying and dead trees. Your trees appear to be pretty old and may have been infested with some disease or, as you intimated, with a defoliating insect. The wood borers simply took advantage of this largesse as the trees died. Your
grubs are so big I'm sure they are the ponderous borer.
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