I noticed these Aleppo pines in Tucson in May of 2017.


On examination, galleries caused by borers were evident on the inside of bark (image 2 below). Holes about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter were seen on the outside of bark (image 3 below) indicating insects had emerged. The University of Arizona indicates that six spined engraver beetle (Ips calligraphus ponderosae) attack Aleppo (Pinus halepensis) and Afghan pines (Pinus eldarica) in Tucson. These beetles normally take out stressed Ponderosa pine at higher elevations. The stress currently on Ponderosa pine is primarily drought stress. It would seem prudent to make sure that pine trees in the desert are adequately watered. It is thought that these beetles were brought to the desert region on fire wood.

Although I did not find any insects which could be used for identification, the signs were consistent with damage caused by six spined engraver beetle or one of its close relatives. As far as I know, six spined engraver beetle (Ips calligraphus ponderosae) is the only engraver beetle currently causing damage to pines in Tucson. There have been efforts made to detect other species of engraver beetles by trapping methods (image 4 below).

Yet another scourge to worry about!

For more information see: U of A Article/Information.

click for a larger image
Exit hole
click for a larger image
click for a larger image
Affected Trees
click for a larger image