Ornamental Cherry: Shothole borer

categories: Ornamental Cherry Ornamental Cherry Insects Ornamental trees Ornamentals

revision date: 2022-11-26 09:49

Shothole borer infestation holes.
Shothole borer infestation holes
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli


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

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended

Additional Images