The state’s prediction on the collapse of the Winter Moth population was proven to be accurate. While not eradicated, we do not expect this pest to cause significant widespread foliar injury to trees in our area. There may be individual properties with trees that are still affected. Therefore, we will continue to offer treatments to clients
with cherished ornamentals they wish to keep as pest free as possible! Otherwise, we do not recommend treatment at this time.
The Gypsy Moth is a different story. Although we witnessed a decrease in populations west of Route 495, we also saw sizable populations moving eastward into areas that have not seen an outbreak in over 30 years. The state predicts this trend to continue in 2019. Modern chemicals are well engineered and lower in toxicity than ever before – this is great news – but a single treatment is unable to protect your trees for the lengthy 6-8 week feeding period of these voracious caterpillars. In areas with heavy feeding and expanding populations, we recommend two treatments.
As always, Tree Specialists will be using a combination of products that offer effective control while also protecting the environment. It is important to us that our clients understand we are not exterminators – the products we use do not provide 100% eradication. Our goal is to limit the level of defoliation so that trees retain enough leaf
area and photosynthetic capacity to maintain growth and survival. If you drive through some of the areas affected by Gypsy Moth last year, you may observe many roadside trees that did not survive. We do not want this fate for your trees under our care!
Other Pests and Environmental Stressors
Gypsy moth is not the only concern. There are a number of pest outbreaks developing in our immediate area, including:
• Scale insects – on Magnolia, Hemlock and many other species
• Mites – on Spruce, Fir, and Honeylocust
• Wood borers – on Ash, Oaks, Beech and Pines
• Fungal diseases – foliar/root infections on numerous species
In addition to the strain caused by insects and diseases, trees in your landscape may suffer from environmental stress due to constricted root zones, poor soil quality and fluctuations in temperatures and rainfall. Often, by the time folks notice a problem with their trees, the decline is already at an advanced stage.
Tree removal is the bread and butter for many tree companies. For Tree Specialists, it is less than 10% of our business – and we would like to keep it this way!