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Wasps on pin oak?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Jskron, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Jskron

    Jskron New Member

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    Hello, I have a Pin oak that was planted in early spring and in the past month it constantly has at least 3 or 4 different kinds of wasps chewing at the trunk. I have never seen some of these species of wasp before. There is always 1 or 2 yellow jackets, 1 or 2 to big ones that are about 2 inches long and a couple black and white ones. Here is a couple pictures.
    1. View attachment 192785 The tree was bowed pretty bad when they planted it. I have managed to straighten it though.
    2. View attachment 192786 Wasps
    3. View attachment 192787 wasps
    There is also always lots of flies and gnats around this tree but not on any other trees in the yard. I have read a little bit about Gall wasps infesting Pin oaks but I can't seem to find anything on how to get rid of them. Any suggestions on how to get these insects off the tree?
    Thanks
     
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  2. WDG

    WDG ArboristSite Lurker

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    The Wasps in your second two pics look like the "locust killer" wasps we've got here in Texas. I've seen them congregating on various plants around the yard in the daytime, I assume resting in the heat. These guys leave piles of dirt outside freshly dug 1/2" diameter holes in the ground, where they take the locust to feed their young. AFAIK, they don't do any damage to the plants, nor are they generally aggressive to humans or animals, but I can't speak to any other wasps you may have.
     
  3. ch woodchuck

    ch woodchuck ArboristSite Operative

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    Mysterious!Can you describe what I'm seeing on the trunk?There appears to be secretions that the smaller wasps are eating?Is it possible they are boring into the bark and that is causing the secretions.Might possibly be gall wasps...not positive though.If you can possibly post a few micro closeups?
     
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  4. Jskron

    Jskron New Member

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    So I've checking this tree every night for about two weeks now and something about this tree is attracting lots of insects (beetles, butterflies, flies, gnats and wasps). I have 8 trees in my yard and this is the only one under attack. I've tried to get close up pics but the wasps go into defense mode. The best I can tell is that there is these green beetle eating at the tree then the tree starts leaking a whitish foamy sap and the wasps are coming in and drinking it. Also I saw the same beetle on the oaks at the local nursery. I am looking forward to having a nice oak tree in my back yard just hoping the insects don't kill it and I have to start al over again with a little sapling. Thanks for any suggestion.
     
  5. ch woodchuck

    ch woodchuck ArboristSite Operative

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    Probably what is called bacterial wet wood or slime flux, caused by one of a number of bacterial agents that affect the vascular system. The insects are attracted to the sap because it's loaded with the sugars that the tree makes. Oaks are very commonly affected.
    There's nothing you can do other than to keep the tree as healthy as possible.It's very difficult to guess what may have triggered slime flux in your tree without seeing it, and maybe not even then. Planting too deeply can be a cause. perhaps during the shipping or planting process.If your tree has been planted properly and is in good health it can be expected to live for many years. Bacterial wet wood is not normally considered mortal.
     
  6. crowbuster

    crowbuster ArboristSite Operative

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    looks like paper wasp
     
  7. pbtree

    pbtree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I do not think the wasps are a problem for the tree....

    It looks like something is compromising the bark, and the wasps are simply enjoying a free meal...

    you mentiioned several other insiects, like a green beetle? Can you catch some photos of the other insects - this might prove helpful in determining what you are dealing with....
     
  8. Sagetown

    Sagetown Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Could be gnawing the bark to make it bleed out the sap to drink or use glue their nests.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  9. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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  10. Loraxguy

    Loraxguy ArboristSite Operative

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    pin oak

    Hey before you get to busy pull back some of the mulch around the base of the tree-that's terrrible mounding-spread it out so it's only 3 inches thick over the ground. Should be no mulch un against the trunk of the tree-
     
  11. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Wasps (hornets, yellow jackets, wasps) are carnivores, so they are not eating your tree. You likely have other (smaller) bugs attracted to the tree because it is diseased/rotting. As others have stated, you at least have a mulch volcano issue, which can cause the tree to have the issues which attract the bugs in the first place.
     
  12. Sagetown

    Sagetown Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Read up on Bald Faced Hornets. You'll find they gnaw oak bark to create a sap then mix it with their own secretion that produces a glue like substance to make their nests. That appears what is going on in your pics.
     
  13. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I learned something new. It makes sense, too. Thanks, Sagetown! :cheers:
     
  14. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    Interesting, but how does this theory fit the blackish blotches on the tree? scratch those with your fingernail and see if tissue underneath is live--white--or brown-dead.

    No sign of gnawing at the holes.

    Also how does this explain the oozing foam? and the skunky beer smell?
     
  15. Sagetown

    Sagetown Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Jskron's statement indicates gnawing. Wasps protecting the tree. I don't see where he says there is an odor coming from the tree as stated by treeseer. Just from the pics, the white oozing doesn't look like foam, but more like an 'Elmers Glue' substance.

    Hopefully Jskron's tree is healthy, and only suffering from those irritating wasps (which look like a type of hornet), but if it is emitting a foul odor, and he should know, then I suspect the tree is in dire distess as treeseer and other have indicated.
     

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