Are pine trees on topic if one needs repair?

Are pine trees on topic if one needs repair?
I have a 30 or 40 foot pine tree.
All the limbs below 7 feet have died. Is that normal?
This week, below 4 feet, I found about 20 holes spread out around the trunk, about 1/4 to 5/16" in diameter, through the bark and into the wood. I need to go back with a flashlight and a dental probe, but I don't think I'll find anything but the hole.
I don't have woodpeckers around here, at least not that I can hear, and I could hear them if they were pecking at this tree.
Are these made by some parasite?
Is it serious? Will it kill the tree? Please say no. :-)
Thanks.
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micky wrote:

Yes.
Did the tree get enough water this summer?
Are the branches heavily shaded?
What sort of pine are we talking about? Austrian? Jack?

Have a look here:
http://www.avtreefarm.com/insects/barkbeetles.htm
It's ok, and even a good thing in your case to remove the dead branches. Just remember to cut them off about an inch from the trunk - not flush with the trunk.

Probably a bark beetle.
Any branches you cut should be completely removed from your property - unless you can completely burn then or grind them up.

Have you been watering it?
Maybe give it some fertilizer.
Read that link I gave you. Set some jars of white vinegar out and see if it attracts (and kills) any beetles.
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On 9/18/2011 9:03 PM, micky wrote:

Look for "bark beetle" or "wood boring beetle" on the internet. If it is bark beetles YES it can kill your tree. In any case ask around for an arborist. If you have a neighborhood association they may be able to recommend one.
Bark beetles have devastated entire forests. Recently huge areas of Yellowstone's forest were wiped out by bark beetles.
http://cache.virtualtourist.com/4/4928042-Dead_trees_after_leaving_the_East_Entrance_Yellowstone_National_Park.jpg
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micky wrote the following:

Here in NY, we had a very bad winter. Deep snow covered the ground most of the winter. The deer were eating everything that was green, including spruces and fir trees, Yucca plants, Hostas, and Rhododendrons. This spring, the plants recovered, but every evergreen tree branch from the ground up to about 5' was eaten bare. Those branches have not recovered. I have a line of spruces between my property and my neighbor's. This is the first year that I could see my neighbor's lawn since I moved here in 1984. I don't know if your holes are related to the death of your tree limbs or this is just the first time they have been uncovered.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Don't know where you are located, but I can sympathize with you. I also have a pine tree roughly the same height. This tree is probably 23 years old and WAS a beautiful tree until about 2 months ago. Since that time, it has progressed to total death. (If you would like a picture of this heartbreaker, the address is valid). It has your same series of similar holes. although mine has in excess of 50-60 holes. I do have woodpeckers around and have seen them pecking on the tree in the past. Never had a problem till this year. Had an Arborist review the damage for possible woodpecker damage to no avail. Surrounding neighbors have Live Oak, Crepe Myrtle. Maple. Cottonwood and have no damage at all. Have a Tree Removal Company coming in this week to cut it down. If anything is found, will post here.
BTW: I live in Plano Tx. Where , approximately are you??
Bill

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Many Thanks to "Home Guy" for the information on the Bark Beetle. Sure sounds like what I have encountered! Will check out the tree tomorrow for the symptoms listed. Won't help now since the tree is dead, but may answer my question!
Bill

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Bill Hall wrote:

For those of you that don't know what kind of pine you have, this might help:
http://www.treehelp.com/trees/pine/pine-types.asp
You might have a spruce tree, not pine:
http://www.treehelp.com/trees/spruce/spruce-types.asp http://www.tree-pictures.com/spruce_tree_pictures.html
For those of you in Texas - I don't have to tell you that you've been having a serious drout. Have you been watering your trees?
This product might help prevent future tree problems caused by bugs (perhaps only crawling ones?)
http://www.envirometrics.ca /
I think the bottom line is that the bark beetle is attracted to trees that are stressed potentially or perhaps most often because of a lack of water.
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wrote:

Mine is about 32 years. I don't know what kind of pine it is.

Wow. My condolences. t.

If you've taken them already, yes, I'd appreciate. Just remove NONONO from the start of my from-addresss.

I'm in NW suburban Baltimore. (NW is a little higher and colder than SE. When I worked SE, which is near the water, I could see the amount of snow on the ground decrease as I got there.)
But until a couple years ago my brother lived in Plano. Been there I guess 3 times for a total of 2 weeks or more. (Been to Dallas other times, when he didn't live in Plano. I had never head of it before he moved there. I don't remember any landmarks. A mall but I forget the name. The biggest church in the country?, but he wasn't a member of it.

My web browser has been frozen for the last 30 minuites, so I haven't looked at the webpages yet, but thank you all.

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The arborist ought to have been able to tell you whether the holes indicate bird damage or parasite infestation (insects.)

You need to identify both the tree and the cause of the damage. Many municipalities have programs to support urban trees and maintain safety. Some state agricultural extension departments or college forestry departments willl help (free) to diagnose and cure your problem.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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Bill Hall wrote the following:

I'n not the OP. Just sayin' Hi My brother lives in Frisco, TX. He used to live in Denton. He works for GE, installing reverse osmosis systems for hospital dialysis machines throughout the US. His wife works for Frito Lay in Plano.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Hi Bill:
Very familiar with both places; Frisco mand Frito Lay. Live within 6 miles of either one. From 1983 thru 1993,was City Manager in The Colony,contiguous boundaries with Frisco. That was before Frisco was a real live City. Spent a lot of time with some of the Government Folks and got to know it well. Population was approximately 7900 at the time. With some good planning on their part, they are now the fastest growing City in Texas ( population +/- 120,000). Great place to live!!
Bill

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Andy comments:
I am not familiar with regular pine trees with lower limbs. All the ones I know look like ship masts, bare, with the green stuff near the top...
Couly you be talking about Juniperus Virginianus, aka Eastern Red Cedar ? (and many other local names)
If that is so, it is not unusual for the lower limbs to die as the tree grows. In fact, I usually saw off the bottom 15 feet or so completely to shape the tree and keep this from happening...
I may be way off base, but I wanted to throw this in. A lot of people call nearly every resinous tree "pine", and I don't have a picture of yours...
Finally, when in doubt, take a pix to your local county agricultural office. Those guys are tree geeks and probably know the answer...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Doesn't your municipality have an Arborist or similar title on staff?
HB
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It's about time they did something with the pine trees....instead of them just standing around like JERKS!
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