Monday, December 06, 2010

It's not too late to band your trees to fight cankerworms in Charlotte

No, it's not too late to band your trees in Charlotte to fight damage from cankerworms in the spring.

The banding, and smearing of the bands with Tanglefoot or some other sticky goo, prevents the female wingless moths from climbing up the trunks to lay eggs in the tops of the trees, primarily willow oaks. The moths make their climb in early winter after leaves have dropped. That leaf drop only happened at my house in the last couple of weeks.

In the spring, eggs hatch and then defoliate and weaken the trees. First to fall victim are the willow oaks, and then anything from dogwoods to maples, if the year is particularly bad, as 2008 was for the cankerworms in Charlotte.

Need help? Several local companies are available. I used Steve Barilovits, a chemistry student at the University of North Carolina and a Plaza-Midwood resident when he's not at school. Reach him through e-mail. That's him and his mom, Jane Laurent, in the photo.

If you're another local company offering to band trees in Charlotte, feel free to leave a note in the comments.

Background on the evil cankerworms: From 2009, including a lovely closeup of the evil female wingless moths;
From 2006, showing the damage that can happen to dogwoods if the worms don't have enough willow oaks to eat.

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