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Springtime Protection Of Your Forest And Yard Against Cankerworm Landscape Damage

Jan 22, 2008
Myths and misconceptions abound about the springtime banding of yard, ornamental and fruit trees against the upcoming hordes of spring as well as early spring time cankerworms infestations.

The confusion over Cankerworms arises due to the fact that there are actually two different species of Cankerworms. Whether it is the spring or fall varieties of Cankerworm moth species varieties both can do a great amount of damage to your trees.

Whether it is oak, elm, fruit or ornamental trees the damage can be lasting and insidious. Trees may recover two or three attempts at defoliation by the moths. Yet the third hit can cause major stressors to the life of the tree. Especially in cases of high value or trees that are either semimetal in nature or hard to replace the results can be catastrophic and either hard to replace, very expensive to replace or both.

One of the major tools of the landscaper and landscape maintenance experts is the preemptory practice of "tree banding". "Tree banding" can be very effective against both the prevention of and prevention of the spread of Cankerworms and the damage inflicted on your trees and landscaping effects by these pesky moth larvas. There us more to tree bands that what meets the eyes. In addition there are misconceptions as well concerning the practice.

First of all it is not only oak or elms trees that need to be banded. The simple hard truth is that almost all deciduous trees need to be banded. If the hungry cankerworms cannot feed on one tree preferentially they will go after other species of deciduous trees as alternate food sources. The critical trees that definitely need to be banded are: oak, elm, ash, maple, and fruit as well as ornamental trees.

A second question comes about in that should the band be taken down after the spring population of cankerworms has subsided. Cankerworms larva emerge from the ground and then crawl upwards the trees. Some would argue that leaving the bands on, does not matter and that it only a matter of unsightliness if you chose to leave the bands on the trees. Unsightliness or laziness aside, leaving the bands up on the trees leaves the trees susceptible to bark damage from having water accumulations under the band. Damage of the wet bark by fungus can be a concern as well.

Does the tanglefoot band require maintenance? In a matter of cases they do. It all depends on the amount of Cankerworm infestations in your geographic area of the landscape area that you care for. If the infestation is heavy, then the bands will become full of the bugs and other debris. The tanglefoot band is to coin a phrase - overwhelmed and of little use. Simply monitor the bands from time to time. If they do become covered with bugs and debris simply take a straightedge, such as a simple putty knife, dislodge and loose debris and stir up the Tanglefoot to refresh it. This will bring fresh, sticky Tanglefoot material to the surface. A warning , if the Tanglefoot is not maintained , it will so full as to become ineffective in stopping the flow of those mean , damaging Cankerworms up your trees - doing damage along the way and at the top of your precious trees.

Lastly remember that if you are going to go to the work of applying and Tanglefoot bands that even though you place the bands on the trees in the fall, that if you cannot maintain and refresh the Tanglefoot material in the spring, then it is all a lost cause. Plan ahead for spring reapplication, and inspection of the tanglefoot material in the spring. Otherwise it is a wasted exercise for your trees over the course of the year to protect them from the evil Cankerworm larva.
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