We decided that the galleries looked more "H" shaped. As we continued to probe, we found a small brown beetle (pictured here) under the bark in the area of the galleries. What could it be? Our list of suspects: Southern Pine Beetle, Black Turpentine Beetle, and Ips Bark Beetle.
Southern Pine Beetles are usually brown to black with a rounded rear end. This beetle is brown with a more flattened rear. Southern Pine Beetles make "S" shaped galleries. Ok, so not Southern Pine Beetle.
Then we thought about Black Turpentine Beetle, but they make pitch tubes on the lower trunk. As was mentioned in the last entry, there was no obvious damage on the lower bole of the tree. So, that probably eliminates Black Turpentine Beetle.
Then we thought about Ips Bark Beetles. These beetles are brown, with a flattened or "scooped out" rear end. They may or may not make pitch tubes, and make "H" or "Y" shaped galleries. Although they often are found in recently felled trees and logging debris, they can attack weakened, stressed standing trees. In these cases they are usually found in the upper tree stem and at the base of branches. Bingo! Ips Bark Beetle is our offender!! In future posts we will follow up with what control methods the landowner decided on and information on what could have done to potentially prevent this unfortunate event.
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