WSU Extension


Ornamental Cherry
Armillaria root rot 
Bacterial canker 
Brown rot 
Coryneum blight (Shothole) 
Leaf spot 
Virus diseases 
Apple-and-thorn skeletonizer 
Cherry bark tortrix 
Pear slug 
Redhumped caterpillar 
Shothole borer 
Spider mites 
Tent caterpillars 

print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Shothole borer infestation holes
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Ornamental Cherry : Shothole borer
(revision date: 4/28/2014)

Shothole borer larvae feed between the bark and the wood on the limbs and trunks of cherry trees. The white larvae (bark beetles) are about 1/8" long and feed in galleries made beneath the bark parallel to the grain of the wood. The adults emerge from the trees, leaving numerous small holes about the diameter of a pencil lead in the bark. Adult beetles are black with cinnamon-colored antennae and legs. They are about 1/8" long or less. Shothole borers may bore into the buds of healthy trees, but are primarily attracted to unhealthy trees. Sunscald damage to trunks during winter serves as a common entry point for these beetles.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Provide proper plant culture to maintain health and increase resistance to shothole borer attack.
  • Prune out all dead and dying branches.
  • Burn, chip, or otherwise destroy all infested or suspicious prunings to prevent emergence of adults.
  • Remove dead or dying trees from the landscape.
  • Whitewashing trunks or applying commercial white trunk bands helps prevent sunscald and borer infestations.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


+ Show larger images

Caption: Shothole borer infestation holes
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Shothole borer galleries
Photo by: E.H. Beers
Caption: Shothole borer hole
Photo by: K. Grey
Caption: Shothole borer holes on apple
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Bark beetle (very similar to shothole borer)
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli