Texas ripe for Pine Beetles infestation due to drought
Trees in Houston and other Texas cities have gone through severe drought. That is a recipe for disease and pest infestation.
Already, there are signs that the Pine Beetle infestation is beginning in the Lone Star State and experts warn that this could be the next problem residents have to deal with as they recover from the heat wave of last summer.
Houston tree expert, Louis Flory, owner of Ability Tree Experts says the conditions are ripe for infestations. “Trees are weak from the drought and heat. They do not have enough water and nutrients so they are easy targets for these Beetles,” he said this week.
Homeowners in the area report a number of dead trees with one homeowner reporting having a dozen trees cut down due to Pine Beetle infestation.
Infected trees usually die within weeks of initial infestation. The first signs that a tree is infected are small holes in the trunks of the trees. Healthy trees would normally produce saps to stop the Beetles in their tracks but most of these trees are weak from the drought so they do not have that defense mechanism.
Trees for Houston executive director, Barry Ward likened the effect of Beetles infestation to inability of humans to produce saliva. “The equivalent (of the infestation) in human is if you can’t produce saliva. The trees can’t produce sap, so it can’t plug the hole and the Beetles run rampart. No water now is making it up to the tree and it will actually die from dehydration,” he said.
Watering trees at regular intervals is the way to combat these Beetles. “Watering your trees keeps them healthy and healthy trees are better able to fight off these Beetles better than stressed trees,” added Flory.
Trees in Houston, Texas may show signs of damage this spring as a result of freezing weather in the winter. But with the right steps, they can be