Tree Insect Problems?
Surprisingly, one of the biggest enemies a tree has is one of the smallest organisms around. The creepy crawly insects and bugs that may be an annoyance to us are a huge threat to our beloved trees. Tree insects carry a large number of illnesses, disease pathogens, and bacteria which can seriously harm and even kill trees. Because they are so small and discrete, an infestation can exist for quite a while before being noticed, and sometimes by then it can be too late to save the tree from destruction or removal.
What are signs of tree insects?
Even if you don’t see the insects themselves, look for signs that they may be there, including holes borrowed in the tree, loose bark, damaged foliage, or sawdust like material around the tree.
Now, don’t get us wrong, some tree insects are beneficial, assisting in pollination and population control of other insect species, but there are some that can be destructive. Once insects have been found in a tree, the next step is to identify what kind they are.
Insects can generally be divided into three categories based on the method by which they feed:
Sucking Tree Insects
As the name implies, these insects suck the liquid from leaves and the tree itself. A common type of sucking insect are called “scales.” They actually live on the outside of a branch or leaf and form a protective shell or coating to protect themselves while they feed on the tree’s juices. Watch out for scaly formations on branches, dying discolored and droopy leaves, and sticky excretions on the tree. Other common suckers are aphids, leafhoppers, and spider mites. As one can imagine, a big problem with these insects is that they virtually drain the tree of nutrients.
Chewing Tree Insects
These are probably one of the most commonly recognized culprits of tree destruction, including such insects as tent caterpillars, cankerworms, gypsy moths, and Japanese beetles. Most trees can regain their health and continue to grow with proper treatment, but repeated infestations can weaken a tree and eventually cause its destruction. Because these insects feast upon the leaves, flowers, roots, and twigs of the tree, their presence is pretty easy to detect. Simply look for leaves that appear to have uneven breaking, holes, bite marks, or leaves that appear skeleton like.
Boring Tree Insects
Probably some of the sneakier of the creepy crawly critters are the boring insects. Depending on the species, most tunnel into trees through the roots, stems, trunk, or limbs. Here they lay eggs which hatch into worm like larvae. Before leaving the tree, the larvae bore deeper beneath the bark and continue feeding, becoming fat and happy. They can end up starving the tree of nutrients and moisture. Look out for holes in the bark which are entry and exit holes, small mounds of sawdust near branch bases and the tree’s base, and of course wilting or dying branches. The big names that come to mind when talking about boring insects are the Asian longhorn beetle, the ash borer, and the elm bark beetle.
Early detection helps to prevent irreversible damage. Solutions and treatments are not always “one size fits all.” To properly treat and correct the tree’s condition a number of factors come into play including the species of the tree involved, the severity of the problem, and the wishes and budget of the property owner.
Protect your trees from Brood V Cacada Bugs, expected to appear sometime in the Spring of 2016.
With GP Tree Service on the job, you can be confident that your tree is cared for with the most appropriate method by some of the best professionals in the area! So if you’ve got a tree insect problem that’s bugging you in the Akron or surrounding Ohio areas, contact us.