Barked Stripped from Tree: Hornets are suspects

Subject:  I’m resending bald-face hornet girdling gridwork on bark.
Geographic location of the bug:  Tonasket WA
Date: 06/27/2019
Time: 08:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I sent this about a week ago and got the confirmation e-mail and I realize you can’t post everything. I did kinda wonder if the picture came thru as I’m on Windows 7 and I’ve had problems with the upload before. So, just checking. I was told BF hornets did it. I thought, Makes sense, thy use the bark to make their paper nests. Then I looked it up! I read they do it to make the sap run and then they eat it! They are “vegan?” and only gather insects and B-B-Q (haha) to provision their babies. Apparently they can girdle a tree, but this pattern leaves bark and cambium to continue the sap flow. Can you verify this behavior? Or if something else did, do you know who? I don’t think it’s our red-naped sapsucker, they leave a grid work of little round drilled holes, and they’re the only sapsuckers we have. Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Cathy

Did Hornets damage this tree???

Dear Cathy,
We cannot confirm that Hornets damaged this tree, but if your theory is correct, they should revisit the site to feed.  We have images on our site of European Hornets (introduced to eastern North America) stripping the bark off of lilac bushes.  We will attempt further research into this matter.

3 thoughts on “Barked Stripped from Tree: Hornets are suspects”

  1. Glad you got this. I resent in Int. Exp. and it told me it was sending. First time was in Firefox, and I never got any status box showing it was doing anything.

    So far I haven’t seen anyone near the serviceberry, but it’s far enough from my house that it’s not where I usually end up. I do have tons of Bald faced hornets and yellow jackets perusing the apricot and quacking aspen, but no bark damage on either of them. I’ve got a fair amount of leaf miner and aphids this year. Would either of them do the work at night? The spot keeps growing. And the gridwork so perfect!!! Thanks

    • Thanks for letting us know it is a serviceberry tree. Lilacs seem a popular bark choice for European Hornets in the east.

  2. I found this site, but I’m not really convinced. Sapsuckers drill like a woodpecker and get into the tree, and the effect is rows of dots, closely spaced.


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