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Can we save this tree from borer?

Just Starting Out

Can we save this tree from borer?

Hi everyone 


I think it might be a too far gone, but wondering if I should persist? The tree blocks out the flats behind, so of course we are a little attached to that.


we have cut the dead stuff away and sprayed it.

An overseas site suggested a solution to water it with. Do you recommend it here?  I can’t seem to see it available her in Australia. Think it’s called Dominion or something. 

should  we persist?

many thanks 






Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Can we save this tree from borer?

Thanks for your post @samT1 and apologies for the slow reply.


Let me tag some helpful members in @BradN@Noelle and @Adam_W for their thoughts on what they would do with this tree.


I'm sure @EricL will also be happy to assist as soon as he can. Apologies for the delay but the other half of our Bunnings D.I.Y. dynamic duo is taking a well-earned break for the next couple of weeks. 


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. We trust you will get loads of help and inspiration for all your projects around the house and garden from our members. Please feel free to post anytime you need a hand or have something to share.




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Kind of a Big Deal

Re: Can we save this tree from borer?

Hi @samT1 

The tree is diseased, rather than the problem being borer.  Pittosporums are well known for suffering from fungal and bacterial infections / diseases like this when they have been damaged or heavily pruned and the large wounds not sealed with a wound-dressing mastic or paint. The diseases cause a lot of sap exudation and subsequent rotting. While there may be some boring pests present, they're not the cause of the problem but rather have found the decaying wood good for shelter and as a food source.

Usual treatment for rotting like this is to cut out all the affected wood and then seal the surface with pruning mastic. However, this may severely weaken the tree particularly if the problem is low down near ground level.

I'd suggest removing this one affected tree and replanting with something similar. Pittosporums are fast growing so you should not be exposed for too long.

Workshop Legend

Re: Can we save this tree from borer?

Hi @samT1 always sad to see a tree getting like that.
As @Noelle  said and add to that those variegated pittosporums do have a bit of a shorter lifespan than your average small tree so I think it may be that it is near its end and all of that. Attack from pests is just a sign of that as it is not 'defending' itself.
You could try to keep it healthy in it's decline by giving it regular applications of products that will help to nurture it. I like using a combo of this and this...
Do watch that you don't end up over-watering as virtually all of the pittosporums hate wet feet.
'Dominion' appears to be a termiticide registered for use overseas. It's active constituent is imidacloprid which is a product you will not find in Bunnings as they banned it from their shelves due to it being responsible for killing bees as collateral damage from its use.
I would just monitor the tree for any more borers. If you see any fresh attacks then you can use a small piece of wire to try to kill them in their holes or I have found spraying a pyrethrum-based spray into the hole causes them to drop out.

If you want fast coverage when the tree goes then clumping bamboo can be seriously effective. Just pick on that grows to the right height for your needs.

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