Borer Damage on Silver Maple

miraje(7a)February 20, 2012

Hello! I have a young Silver Maple that I believe to be infested with some kind of borer, but I haven't had much luck finding pictures on Google of trees with similar damage. The outer bark is stripped away around where the small holes are, and the holes seem to be smaller than most that I've seen online. I saw the first hole about six months ago, and just recently several more have appeared. Do you have any guesses as to what kind of borer might be causing the damage and if there's anything I can do to help the tree?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

looks like sun scald .. and perhaps improper planting ...

what can you tell us about this tree .. how long planted.. is the trunk/root interface above ground.. did you amend.. is the damage on the south side .... how tall is it ... etc ...

check the link for borers related to maple ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 1:27PM
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I purchased it in a container in 2008 when it was about five feet tall (it's about 6.5-7 feet tall now). I planted it with the top of container soil at ground level with just a dusting of native soil covering the rootball. I didn't amend any of the backfilled soil, but I did give it a granular fertilizer the following year (2009) and gave it a topdressing of municipal compost in the fall of 2010. Last summer was awful here (Oklahoma) with one of the worst droughts/heat waves on record, so it likely was under quite a bit of stress last year even though I was watering it on a regular basis. The foliage dropped earlier than my other trees, and it started sprouting suckers near the base of the tree. The old damage you see in the second picture is several years old and is either rabbit or mower damage.

I have three other trees (a crabapple, a dogwood, and a linden) that were planted similarly and amended similarly but do not have any borer damage.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 1:46PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am more concerned about a silver maple ONLY growing a foot and one half.. in 3 growing seasons ...

there is something significantly wrong with the tree.. and it has nothing to do with an advantageous borer who attacked an already stressed tree ...

by relying on the previous potting.. you do not really know where the rot/trunk interface is .. and i think you need to get out there and do a little careful excavating.. to find out .... if it is telephone poled, as we say ...

also.. did you do any root unwinding at planting ...

this is an extremely aggressive tree in terms of growth ... excluding last years drought.. 1.5 feet in three years is jsut not right ...

on re-read ... you said: it started sprouting suckers near the base of the tree.

===>>> sorry.. its dead above.. get rid of it.. and start over .... and i doubt the borer had anything to do with it.. wish i would have read that part first..

and when you dig it out.. wash off all the soil.. and let us know what you find ... or post us some pix.. and maybe we can tell you why it died ....


    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 5:33PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

btw ....


SILVER MAPLE IS A FAST GROWING TREE. THAT IS FAST TO GET DAMAGED.. AND FAST TO BREAK APART.. carp.. sorry for the caps ... and fast to die [in terms of decades of course.. when talking about trees] ....

but you can plant other good trees that have the potential of centuries.. with little or no extra cost ... that basically grow just as fast ...

i prefer oak ... but dont know what is best for your area ...


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:23AM
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Any recommendations for shallow soil? I don't know if it's hardpan or bedrock but the deepest I can dig even when the soil is moist is 12" or so. I have a pickaxe to dig deeper if I need to, but there's no point planting a tree with a deep-rooting habit. That's part of the reason I picked the silver maple. We have a lot of post oak/blackjack trees around here, but they're small, slow-growing trees that don't provide much shade. The only other naturalized tree around us is black locust, which I hate with a fiery passion. I'll ask around in the forum for our state and see if anyone has any recommendations.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:11PM
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