Trees and shrubs are like windows into our history. Not only do they provide us with the most crucial element known to man, oxygen, but they also provide us with shade, serve as homes to wildlife, and provide us with comfort and tranquility. Many have been with us through generation after generation, giving us a treehouse to play in or limbs to climb. But there are many harmful insects and diseases that are out to discolor, exhaust, and destroy our beloved trees. The best way to protect your valuable lawn ornaments is to recognize the signs, symptoms, and insects that harbor such diseases.
Some of the Most Common Diseases Carried by Insects That Affect Our Trees and Shrubs Include:
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer is a green beetle that is approximately only a half-inch long and a half-inch wide but is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 30 states, including here in North Carolina. An invasive species, this insect is believed to have been brought to the U.S. on wooden packing materials brought over from China. Adult females lay their eggs from mid to late May. The larvae puncture holes into the ash tree and feed under the bark, leaving visible tracks underneath. The feeding disrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients to its roots, causing the leaves’ tips to start dying and bark splitting.
Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer include:
- Yellow, thick, or wilted foliage
- Unusual woodpecker presence and pecking holes
- Exit holes shaped like a D-shaped beetle
- Stems growing from the roots or a tree’s trunk
Bagworms are one of the most common tree pests in North Carolina. Bagworms are not a host-specific pest and can be found on a variety of over 120 different shade trees and ornamental plants. They are dark brown caterpillars approximately one inch in length. As they feed, they create a silken case made from the leaves of the host plant. They then bind the bag together, attaching it to other plants and using it to travel back and forth. Bags made from bagworms look differently on each type of host plant, and once a tree is infested, bagworms populate quickly.
Symptoms of bagworms vary depending on whether or not the tree is a deciduous or evergreen. On deciduous trees, bagworms chew small holes in the leaves and cause the leaves to strip away. The good news is that if you eliminate the bagworms from a deciduous tree, it will generally bounce back. Evergreens, on the other hand, are not so lucky. When it comes to our beloved pines, bagworms eat the buds and foliage, causing the branch tips to turn brown and die. When 80 percent of the tree has is eaten, the evergreen usually dies.
Aphids are small in size but are nutrient sucking little buggers. They are green or yellow, and their antennae are slightly shorter than their body. They leave behind a sticky substance called honeydew. It can quickly turn black due to a nasty mold that grows on honeydew deposits and accumulates on leaves and branches. A small number of aphids will not hurt a generally healthy tree. However, large infestations can be deadly and stunt the growth of both the tree and the leaves. A few species even carry viruses that can be toxic to your trees and plants.
Impeccable Lawns comprehensive tree & shrub care program was developed specifically to promote the healthy growth of your trees and shrubs while protecting them from diseases and disease-carrying insects. We have the experience and knowledge you need and deserve when it comes to your impeccable landscape. Contact us today and learn more about how our tree and shrub care program can help protect your trees and shrubs now.