Thread: Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak

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  1. #1

    Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak

    I planted a Pinoak tree in my front yard (central PA) this spring. About 2 weeks ago I noticed some Japanes beetles were chewing on the leaves. I bought some beetle spray from Lowes and treated the tree and haven't seen any more beetles since. Hopefully they are gone for the season.

    My question is, is there anything I can (or should) do for my tree to get it over this experience. Maybe about 1/5 (probably less than that) of the leaves ended up being chewed up so badly that they turned brown. Will they be replaced by new green leaves this summer? Should I take the brown chewed up leaves off? I don't want to stress the tree anymore than need be. How about a special tree food? I already put in a couple of those "feeding stakes" when I planted the tree.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    RE: Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak

    it should be fine. how big is the tree. It will put leaves on next year. I wouldn't worry about it much, but try to keep those nasty beetles on it.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak


    Remove all tree stakes and do not fertilize your new tree. Or ever. At least without a soil test indicating it's needed. Tree stakes are more like impulse buys to make $ for garden centers and give the homeowner a sense they are accomplishing something when in fact they could be harming the tree.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central Indiana

    RE: Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak

    I've planted hundreds of trees over the past year and a half and have had the same trouble with Japanese Beetles both last summer and this one. I tried to catch them in time, but they got ahead of me on some of my trees.

    The answer to your question is: yes, your tree should recover quite nicely. Those brown leaves will eventually fall off--just leave them alone. New growth should appear very quickly--you'll start seeing new leaves within a week or so, I expect.

    Keep spraying to kill the beetles! Fortunately, they're just about done for the year. I was out on my place today and noticed that they were nearly gone on the wild trees and plants that I don't spray. I had to spray twice and probably should have been just a little earlier with a third time. Having a drought helped with the beetles this year because the spray didn't get washed off as much as last year.

    Eventually, your pin oak will get big enough to handle the beetles on its own. You won't have to worry about it. But I would keep spraying until you think it is big enough to handle losing a lot of leaves to those nasty critters. For me, that's when it gets tall enough to make spraying inconvenient. When it is hard to reach those top branches and leaves, you end up having Sevin or whatever you use blowing all over the place, including on yourself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central Indiana

    RE: Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak

    I've had good experience with fertilizers when I plant trees--especially fruit trees. I put a few of those time release "pills" in the bottom of the hoe, as instructed by the nursery where I buy my orchard stock. Haven't had any trouble at all. But I've not used those tree stakes and haven't used any fertilizer at all on most of my oaks and they're doing just fine. I'm not sure that you have to pull them up, but I doubt they're necessary unless you do that soil test as advised by Quirky Quercus. With an ID like that, he knows oaks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    RE: Jap Beetle Damage to a Pin Oak

    Speaking of 'beetles: I have only seen two so far this year. With so much rain, I am sure that their appearance is affected somewhat. There are plenty in my soil, and most are 'alive', so I am awaiting their onslaught soon. Last year, with the intense heat/drought, I could almost make a carpet with all that were around here. Now, I find maybe one bug for every few thousand that would normally be around. But butterflies are unaffected as there are LOTS, as well as some bees

    Jeffrey: I concur that your tree will be fine. It'll happen every year and the tree is adapted to that. The leaves should be replaced fairly soon and all will be well. Oaks can be visually slow to show 'success', so hang tight. And do not fert unless needed. 'Fallow' grounds are usually OK, but when ground is mowed/bagged regularly and kept 'clean' of plant debris, eventually you will need to replace what you have not allowed to return to the soil by decomposition. Make sense? Too much fert is waaaay worse than not enough And the basic/standard application methods are much better than a localized pill/stake, IMO, as chemicals do not travel laterally in soil much, if any. But I am not trying to start a debate on how to fert, LOL.

    And fwiw, soil tests can be generally done by the local 'County Extension Office' or a nearby Agri University at really cheap prices, IME. Call 'em and see what you need to do if so inclined. It can be *very* informative, I promise. LOTS of other applicable info for your area is sure to be had. Might even have a Website to help ya - go Googlin'!


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