A year ago I spotted a wandoo in Candy Reserve that had large strange pits in its trunk and didn’t think too much about it until I found another example in another reserve. In this case a large branch had fallen an affected tree many years ago, leaving beautifully patterned wood after the bark had fallen off.
When I cut a section trough a pit I found a small (about 3mm diameter) burrow leading from the base into a more extensive gallery system in the middle of the stem.
There are similarities to wandoo crown decline as fungal canker was present in the heartwood but there are clear differences.
- This is very rare and hasn’t spread to any adjoining trees.
- The sapwood is healthy.
- I could see a ring of chew marks on the outermost sapwood layer surrounding pit which suggests that some insect comes out of the basal burrow to feed regularly.
- There must be successive generations of the insect, as indicated by the growth rings in the pits and the continuation of damage on the youngest branches
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