Bark beetles are attacking my oak. Will they kill the tree? What should I do?

Once bark beetles attack the main stem (trunk) of an oak, the tree is on its way out.  Insecticide treatments will not save it. Oak beetles are attracted to trees that are severely compromised.  They cannot attack healthy trees.

The correct approach to avoid bark beetle infestations is not to apply insecticides, but rather to identify any health issues a tree may have.  As of October 2015, many trees are suffering from the prolonged drought and may need watering. Watering should be applied infrequently and never during the summer. Water-starved trees may display a thinner crown, with olive-green rather than dark-green leaves.  Leaves may also be crisp when folded between your fingers. If you opt to provide water to an oak tree that is severely water deprived, make sure the water reaches a depth of about one foot below the soil surface. Also make sure the flow is low to avoid flooding the base of the tree.

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