Jackfruit Tree Bark Infested with Worms


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We have a jackfruit tree that's more than 12 years.


After the latest round of pruning, we noticed one huge segment of the tree has started to wilt. There is also a rotting smell at its roots.
IMG_20211025_130155.jpg

As parts of the trunk sounded hollow, we opened the outer bark and to our disgust there were many white worms along with black pupae. The extent of work infestation stretched all the way down to the roots. However, only about 40% of the trunk is currently infested.


IMG-20211025-WA0041.jpg
IMG-20211025-WA0034.jpg



The full extent of the damage to the bark is shown below.


IMG-20211025-WA0037.jpg


What do you think could be a cause for this sad situation? Can this tree still be salvaged? Any response will be very much appreciated!
 
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If you are smelling rot and the tree has lost so much bark, then there is likely a severe rot. If so then there may be no hope.

Do you have any photos of the larvae and pupae? They may be only detritovores feeding on the decaying wood, rather than the cause of the problem.

Also this tree was let to grow poorly in its youth. Those two trunks growing very closely together produces a weak crotch that can cause structural damage to a tree. One of those two trunks should have been pruned off years ago when it was small. From your photos you can see that those two trunks have now come the point that they are beginning to crush and damage each other. This can lead to structural damage and rot. It can also cause a sudden collapse. That tree might not be safe. Call in a certified arborist to inspect this situation. Don't delay, this looks urgent.

What a shame, I love Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) in the Mulberry Family (Moraceae), especially sweet, semi-dried jackfruit chips.
 
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If you are smelling rot and the tree has lost so much bark, then there is likely a severe rot. If so then there may be no hope.

Do you have any photos of the larvae and pupae? They may be only detritovores feeding on the decaying wood, rather than the cause of the problem.

Also this tree was let to grow poorly in its youth. Those two trunks growing very closely together produces a weak crotch that can cause structural damage to a tree. One of those two trunks should have been pruned off years ago when it was small. From your photos you can see that those two trunks have now come the point that they are beginning to crush and damage each other. This can lead to structural damage and rot. It can also cause a sudden collapse. That tree might not be safe. Call in a certified arborist to inspect this situation. Don't delay, this looks urgent.

What a shame, I love Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) in the Mulberry Family (Moraceae), especially sweet, semi-dried jackfruit chips.
Hi Marck,

Thank you so much for your response. It is greatly appreciated. For my own curiosity, how do you tell that the 2 trunks have already begun to crush and damage each other? We hadn't anticipated that the forking of the branches would have caused problems down the road.

Here's another image of the fork:

IMG-20211025-WA0018.jpg


Screenshot_2021-10-26-04-01-51-548_com.whatsapp.jpg
Here's a zoomed in image of the worms (black ones are presumably pupae) when the outer bark was pried open. You can also see many thin white worms along with fatter white worms.

We did not realise the extent of rot until the wilting occurred. This tree has been giving us much needed shade and has borne us more than 200 huge delectable jackfruits thus far. Alas, it's a real shame that this jackfruit tree has to come to such a state.
 
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The first photo in the post above shows an area of reddish roughened bark in the narrow crotch of the tree's two trunks. This bark is called included bark or embedded bark. This occurs where the bark of two such parallel branches begin to grow into each other, preventing the tree's wood from making a strong attachment between the two limbs. This weak attachment can lead to splitting, especially since such an are also be prone to rotting.

I don't know the identity of the larvae and pupae, but I do think they are not the cause of the tree's ailment. They appear to be only feeding on the fungus and already rotting wood.
 

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