PLEASE Help!! What is eating my trees

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by lvlugt, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. lvlugt

    lvlugt Member

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    We just bought our first home in the lower mainland, and upon further inspection we have noticed that all the trees on the property are being eaten by something, I didn't notice any bugs. The trees that are being affected are my two mature red maples, an apple tree, and any other tree in the yard. Please help!! Hopefully they can be saved, I'd love to keep the shade.
     

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  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    could be damage from bruce spanworm as well as a bit of powdery mildew on the maple.
     
  3. lvlugt

    lvlugt Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I don't see any spanworms now, perhaps they're already in pupa form, there must have been millions of them because every leaf looks like the pictures. How should I treat them what can I do? It looks like the neighbors have them very bad too, if they don't treat their trees will I be able to get rid of them? Will they eat my vegetable garden as well if I plant one.
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    if it was spanworm they are likely long gone for this year. next year check during May and onwards for little green caterpillars, if you find a bunch of them then consider treating with BtK. Other than that, make sure the trees get sufficient water through the rest of summer.
    :)
     
  5. lvlugt

    lvlugt Member

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    Thanks Again!
     
  6. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    That's totally drought stress. You will see that damage on the majority of the those Maples and many Cherry and other varieties of trees shrubs around the lower mainland. Every year seems to be getting worse since about 1999. It is definitely not insects and it is not any type of detectable blight or fungus.

    Every year I submit samples from Maples and other trees with those exact symptoms into the Min. of Ag. plant lab for diagnosis. Just to satisfy strata councils that they would be wasting there money spraying insecticides and fungicides to control this. And as always the reports come back as abiotic, environmental stress.

    21 years I have been spraying trees full time around the lower mainland. From my experience the best method is heavy watering. It also seem that deep root fertilizing in the fall helps too.

    Span worms hatch in early spring and last until late spring before pupating. They generally do minimal damage and do not really warrant control in most cases. A few span worms are just part of our landscapes if you ask me. Although there are some years that infestations are severe and BTK is an excellent method of control.

    Powdery Mildew usually starts to develop on Maples in early July when the weather gets hotter. It seems this year we had 7-8 days of rain right after that time which will help spread the mildew all over the leaves more rapidly then normal. This is just an assumption, but I have noticed a lot of mildew on the red Crimson Maples.

    Well thats my two cents, Jim.
     
  7. lvlugt

    lvlugt Member

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    Hi again, thanks for your help.
    Just an update, the leaves on my trees are just opening up and are already being devoured! I went out to check this morning and found some little green worms, span worms. I also saw aphids and a ton of ants. I haven't checked more than a few leaves yet, because we had trimmed a lot of the lower branches and just can't reach that high without a ladder. So now that I know they're span worms should I start treating with BTK? How do I apply it, since the trees are huge, and should I keep my dog in? Can I purchase it at home depot? Will it fix the problem long term, or will I need to do this every year. It looks like its in the neighbors apple tree and cherry tree, which I don't see him doing anything about. Ahhhh, thanks again for any help you can provide.
     
  8. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    You would have to treat all the foliage with BTK. As for the size of your trees even a commercial spray company would have a hard doing that. Besides a few span worms are not going to do the damage you showed in your pics last year. Even a lot of span worms won't do that. Span worms are gone in June and new hole-less leaves should appear right after. As per your picture dated July 28th this was not the case. Holes from drought stress can start as soon as leaves come out along with span worm damage.

    I can say from 22 years in the tree spraying business around the lower mainland that the majority of the damage you show is from drought stress. If you want my opinion I would start watering them now and possibly look to deep root fertilize them. The last 18 months have been fairly wet and hopefully you should only see less damage after the span worms have hatched. Although it can take several years for trees to recover from the hot dry drought conditions from the summers of 2003-2006.

    In most cases I do not believe span worms are a huge concern. They will not effect the life or death of your trees, and will be gone in 6 weeks time. The cool nights may also help to control them along with birds.

    jim.
     
  9. lvlugt

    lvlugt Member

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    Thanks again, I'll keep you posted. Good thing I don't have a water meter yet ;)
     
  10. lvlugt

    lvlugt Member

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    They are span worms!!! HELP! I'm about ready to cut the trees down. Anyone interested in tking on this project?? I have used tanglewart and they seem worse this year than last. AHHHHH!!!!

    There are millions of they just hanging around. The leaves do not even drop off they just stay on the branches, skeletons all year.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2010
  11. Mollie's Nana

    Mollie's Nana Member

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    Just wondering if you ever found out what to do about your trees? I have found little green worms eating the leaves on my Red Bud trees, grape vines and Maple trees... I hate to, but I kill the ones I find. I've also found what looks like cocoon's on the leaves, and lots of little tiny black specks. I'm not sure if that is eggs, or waste from the worms. It's very frustrating, and I don't know how to get rid of them. Any ideas?
     
  12. bevkepford2011

    bevkepford2011 Member

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    My trees are being eaten too. Now they have started on my mulberry tree.
     

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