WE HAD A 60 FOOT PINE TREE COME DOWN IN A WIND STORM SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I KEEP THE BRANCHES AND HAD THEM STORED OUTSIDE. THEY GO TO ABOUT 4″ IN DIAMETER. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SOME FURNITURE WITH THEM. I STARTED A PROJECT THIS PAST WEEK AND WHEN REMOVING THE BARK DISCOVERED TUNNEL TRACKS AND HOLES IN THE WOOD. MY QUESTIONS ARE: CAN I TREAT THE BRANCHES WITH BORACARE? IS ONE TREATMENT ENOUGH? CAN I PUT A FINISH ON THE WOOD AFTER TREATMENT? HOW WILL I KNOW IF IT IS SAFE TO TAKE THE FINISHED PIECE INTO THE HOUSE? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.
Whitepine is no doubt susceptible to all kinds of beetles. What you’re describing sounds like BARK BEETLES which usually don’t cause dramatic damage. But like most wood boring beetles, they can be a problem that will spread of left unattended.
Considering what you’d like to do with the whitepine, I would recommend treating with BORACARE. It can penetrate up to 4 inches so if you have access to all sides of the whitepine limbs, a good treatment will no doubt soak through and through and will get any beetles that might be nesting in the wood.
So to answer your questions; yes, you can most definitely treat with Boracare. One treatment should be enough. And afterward, you can finish the wood in any fashion you’d like. Stain, varnish, paint, etc. The Boracare won’t have any impact.
Once treated, the wood should be allowed to cure for a few weeks and if you find no new activity for a few months following the treatment, you should be fine. Of course it could take longer for certain species of pupae to hatch out and make their presence known but if you inspect the wood every month or two for a year and don’t see anything, that would mean the problem was most likely fully resolved.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Powderpost Beetles: http://www.powderpostbeetles.com/powderpost-beetle-control
Bark Beetles: http://www.bugspray.com/article/pinebark.html