We use some essential cookies to make this website work.
We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use forestresearch.gov.uk, remember your settings and improve our services.
Preparing to search
Biotic factor that contributes to oak decline
The wood boring beetle Platypus cylindrus infests and breeds in cut trees, windblown trees, standing dead and dying trees.
Like Agrilus biguttatus it was previously regarded as a rare beetle associated principally with ‘veteran’ oak trees, but took advantage of an abundance of breeding material and favourable conditions following the gales of 1987 after which populations grew rapidly in the south and south-east of England. Beetle numbers have never returned to pre-hurricane levels, possibly a consequence of a continuing supply of breeding material in the form of weakened oaks suffering from oak decline and dieback.
P. cylindrus appears to establish only in trees that are severely stressed or already dead and is not itself responsible for killing trees.
Typical signs of attack are piles of fibrous frass (similar to sawdust) on the bark surface (most evident on horizontally stacked logs) which mark the entry points of Platypus cylindrus adults. Once the breeding cycle is completed, emerging beetles leave exit holes, which are circular and around 1.6mm in diameter.
The life history of Platypus cylindrus and options for management, both at the felling site and in the timber yard, are described inthe following:
Oak pinhole borer (PDF-264K)
Revised: April 2010
Cookies are files saved on your phone, tablet or computer when you visit a website.
We use 3 types of cookie. You can choose which cookies you're happy for us to use.
These essential cookies do things like remember your progress through a form. They always need to be on.
We use Google Analytics to measure how you use the website so we can improve it based on user needs. Google Analytics sets cookies that store anonymised information about: how you got to the site the pages you visit on forestresearch.gov.uk and how long you spend on each page what you click on while you're visiting the site
Some forestresearch.gov.uk pages may contain content from other sites, like YouTube or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. These sites are sometimes called ‘third party’ services. This tells us how many people are seeing the content and whether it’s useful.