Messages posted to thread:

Vicky14-Sep-01 10:15 PM EST
Doug18-Sep-01 01:37 AM EST 3   

Subject: Possible Yellow Jacket Wasps eating tree
From: Vicky
Date: 14-Sep-01 10:15 PM EST

Hello again this is gonna sound stupid but we have a decidious(SP) what appears to be a type of pine tree(little acorns) on the side of the house. The problem being a little over a month ago while attending to the flowers under neath i noticed a dozen or so what appeared to be wasps eating at the tree. The lower half of the tree has no pinecones left at all and some of the tips of the branches are missing their needles. They are now working on the top part. Any ideas? Where would a nest be? Will it harm the tree? It ate all the flowers under the tree! Your responses are much appreciated!

Subject: RE: Possible Yellow Jacket Wasps eating tree
From: Doug
Zone: 3
Date: 18-Sep-01 01:37 AM EST


For informational sake only, if your pine tree looses its needles in the fall.. its a larch (larix).

The wasps sound to me to be either paper wasps or carpenter wasps (not sure if this is the right name for the second one).

Paper wasps are usually solitary wasps that make their nest out of chewed up leaves, bark and mud. Their nest may be rather large and is probably somewhere in close proximity to the building source. I believe it should be in an open area probably above ground where the wasp can freely enter/exit the nest. Paper wasps can damage the tree but usually don't cause severe trauma to it. And for the most part are beneificial to your yard by eating many pests and bad organisms.

The carpenter wasp, on the other hand, will eat into the tree creating cavities to lay its young in. The young will feed on the tree while going through its growth stages. This will cause a weakening of the tree and if it is severely infested, will lead to the tree's death over time. The adult wasps are beneficial by eating many insects and it is only during the time of mating and subsequent nesting that the wasps do damage.

I don't know directly of any ways to deal with the wasps, but you might try putting a sticky substance around the nesting holes to try to catch the adults before they can lay eggs (watered down wood glue painted on every couple of days might work).

Hope this helps.

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