Poplar: Poplar-and-willow borer

categories: Ornamental trees Ornamentals Poplar Poplar Insects

revision date: 2022-11-29 12:00

Poplar-and-willow borer adult.
Poplar-and-willow borer adult


The adult poplar-and-willow borer is a black and white weevil (a flightless beetle) about 3/8″ long. The larvae are white, legless, and about 1/4″ long at maturity. They feed by mining beneath the bark of trunk and branches. Feeding larvae expel large quantities of sawdust-like frass (excrement) through holes in the bark. Larval feeding may girdle branches, resulting in leaf wilt and eventual branch death. Severe infestations cause lumpy, swollen bark and bark scars with exposed wood. Old wood may produce large numbers of shoots. Willows are the preferred host, but the poplar-and-willow borer will also attack poplars.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Borer feeding results in weakened limbs. Remove dead branches and seriously infested trees for safety reasons.

Chemical Management

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

  • None recommended

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