Sculptured Pine Borer, Chalcophora virginiensis
Sculptured pine borer is the largest metallic wood-boring beetle in the eastern United States; adult beetles can measure up to 1.25 inches long!
Sculptured pine borer adults feed on and breed in stressed or dead trees, stumps, logs, and utility poles of southern yellow pine (loblolly, longleaf, shortleaf, or slash pines). Adult beetles feed on young buds and needles while larvae, commonly referred to as “flatheaded borers”, tunnel through wood.
Reduce stress on landscape trees as much as possible by installing the tree correctly, soil testing (before tree installation and throughout the life of the tree), mulching the root zone, watering depending on the weather and soil drainage, and regularly checking for problems such as diseases and insect infestations.
For information on pines and tree care in South Carolina, check out Clemson’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) fact sheets: HGIC 1020, Pine, HGIC 1001, Planting Trees Correctly, HGIC 1652, Soil Testing, HGIC 1604, Mulch, HGIC 1056, Watering Shrubs and Trees, HGIC 2008, Pine Diseases, and HGIC 2020, Common Pine Bark Beetles in Urban Settings: Identification and Treatment of these Species.
For residential trees that are of particular value, the homeowner is encouraged to employ the services of a licensed, certified arborist to assess tree health and provide care recommendations. Find an arborist by visiting the International Society of Arboriculture’s website.