If tree pests, like cankerworms, ravaged your tree leaves this spring, chances are it could happen again.
Right now, cankerworms are about to settle in for the winter. They’re looking for a cozy home, a good place to lay eggs and another all-you-can-eat buffet come spring. Cankerworms love big, deciduous trees that lose their leaves in fall, like elm and oak. Though, they’ll frequently attack these tree species, too.
Stop these creepy crawlers before they wreak havoc by using tree bands. Find out what tree banding is, how it works and when to set one up.
When you wrap a tree trunk in a banding material like plastic covered with a sticky substance, you create a tree band. The band traps cankerworms, gypsy moths and other caterpillars that hike up your tree from the ground to get to the canopy. Essentially, the pests get stuck on the band and can’t make it to your tree’s canopy to live or do any harm.
For cankerworms, wait until most or all your tree’s leaves have fallen so that they won’t get stuck in the band. Generally, applying around Thanksgiving works well. If you’re stopping gypsy moths, add a tree band in late May.
To see if you caught fall cankerworms, check the band in early March. If it’s full, call your arborist again to see if it’s wise to implement tree bands again.
If your trees are close together, add tree bands to all of them. Otherwise, the pests may be able to travel from one tree to the next. Then, since they’ll likely be traveling from branch to branch or canopy to canopy, the tree bands won’t deter them.