How to Control White Pine Weevil with Soil Injections

Soil Injections to treat Pine Weevil tree damage in Bucks County If your Bucks County property is especially rich in trees and topiary – mature white pines, perhaps, or maybe spruce or fir trees – chances are better than average that you’ve already put a fair amount of time and money into maintaining your investment. So what could possibly be worse than watching your trees being literally destroyed from the top down?

Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common occurrence for property owners in Bucks County and a number of other regions in Eastern Pennsylvania, where a devilish little pest known as the white pine weevil attacks and subsequently kills the tops of trees each year.

The white pine weevil operates by hibernating in the winter near potential host trees. Come spring, they crawl or fly onto a tree’s top “leader” branch, which is where they start feeding on inner bark tissue. Egg-laying happens soon after the feeding begins. And yet weevil activity is not normally noticed until mid-summer, when the terminal growth of the tree wilts and starts to curve, resembling the crook of a shepherd’s staff. This part of the tree then begins to dry out and turn brown, often falling off later in the season. Depending on the amount of activity, this may be the top two or three inches of the tree.

Soil injections used to prevent Pine Weevil damage in Bucks CountyThis can be a wholly preventable problem, and here’s the truly good news: It’s a problem that doesn’t need to involve the spring spraying of multiple pesticide applications, which is unfortunately still a standard treatment for white pine weevil in Pennsylvania.

Pesticide spray treatment isn’t just a potentially harmful solution, though. Where the weevil is concerned, it’s also complicated and time-intensive.

In order for the pesticide to do its job, each subsequent application needs to be sprayed during a very specific phase of the weevil’s lifecycle. And when you consider that the pest is known to attack some 20 different tree species in the eastern part of the country (it’s especially fond of eastern white pines, jack pines and Norway spruce trees), you’ll probably agree that a pesticide-spraying campaign is less than ideal.

We’ve found that a single, well-timed fall soil injection of an insecticide called Imidacloprid can give complete control. With our precise injection equipment, we can get the proper amount of chemical where it needs to be in the soil, so that it’s translocated up to the leader of the tree by the time these weevils begin their spring feeding the next year.

There are a few different reasons we’re so fond of this particular method: It’s less environmentally risky than spraying, because a less active ingredient of the chemical is used overall. It also has a significantly smaller impact on natural enemies of the weevil than spraying does. With our systemic injection method, you will also save money over the cost of multiple spring spray applications.

This is literally the perfect time of year to stop weevil infestations in their tracks before the tops of your Bucks County or Montgomery County trees turn brown.

If you’d like to learn more, contact our team today, and let us know what questions you have. We’re here to help.

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