Concerns about the presence of the Oak Pinhole Borer (Platypus cylindrus) in oak logs imported from the continent have been raised with the Plant Health Service. This beetle used to be regarded as rare in this country but populations grew in the south and south-east as a result of the gales in 1987 when it took advantage of the sudden glut of suitable breeding material. A similar situation now exists on the continent following the severe gales in the winter of 1999 and buyers are reporting damage to oak logs bought in from mainland Europe. Adults emerge from June to September from larvae that may have been present for up to two years.
The beetle is the only borer which, in the absence of fungal decay, will bore into the heartwood of oak thus reducing its value. However, it is not on the quarantine list as it is already present in this country and is not a pest of standing healthy trees. There are, therefore, no quarantine controls against it and there are no treatments available that will provide protection.
We strongly recommend that anyone intending to purchase oak logs from areas where the beetle is known to occur specifies wood that is free from signs of wood borer damage.
To view a Tree Pest Advisory Note published by Forest Research (updated January 2008)