Wintermoth caterpillar infestation

hinmo24t

Omono
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
1,436
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
underway here in South Eastern MA. Defoliated a 50 oak above my patio and drop webs and eat and nest in new leaves on everything. I have been able to keep them at bay by inspecting and spending 20 mins a day on them.

Pretty wild. Was wondering why my dogwood corpus looked bad they hid between touching leaves on me until I found them today.

bad but I'm managing them i think

 

Forsoothe!

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,731
Reaction score
7,275
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
6b
The people who want to protect these critters live in apartment buildings.
 

RJG2

Shohin
Messages
320
Reaction score
519
Location
Southern Maine
USDA Zone
5b
My (regular) apple tree gets destroyed by leaf rollers every year. Some moved to my bonsai this year.

I'll probably go nuclear next year if I remember early enough...
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
29,836
Reaction score
40,660
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
This'd be a situation in which I'd employ some Praying Manti.

Sorce
 

hinmo24t

Omono
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
1,436
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
They're stout for their size and don't just fling off which is why I just run scissors now. They say BT and neem can help. I didn't know it was a problem until I researched them half way into their caterpillar cycle. Fortunately if you fend them off its over by start of June in theory
Just got 5 more (its tapering off now)
Jinxed myself knocking pesticides recently haha
 

Bnana

Shohin
Messages
413
Reaction score
421
Location
The Netherlands
USDA Zone
8
Oaks can easily handle defoliation and will grow new leaves after the caterpillars are gone. They have only one generation per year.
They are a great food source for birds that are raising chicks.
For bonsai I can imagine you remove them but in a big tree they are only an esthetical issue.
Spraying or even injecting pesticides against winter moths is overkill (literally). As hinmo24t you can control them without.
 

Jzack605

Chumono
Messages
683
Reaction score
431
Location
Western Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7B
A pest that is defoliating an oak, especially a large oak, is by no means an insignificant pest. Decline and stress in trees can be cumulative and have long term negative effects on that trees health.

an oak holds a significantly higher ecological value than an invasive pest like winter moth. So the rational for active preservation is there.

the birds have plenty to eat. Our oaks face some significant threats currently and should be actively preserved. So applications to do so is more than warranted.
 

hinmo24t

Omono
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
1,436
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
A pest that is defoliating an oak, especially a large oak, is by no means an insignificant pest. Decline and stress in trees can be cumulative and have long term negative effects on that trees health.

an oak holds a significantly higher ecological value than an invasive pest like winter moth. So the rational for active preservation is there.

the birds have plenty to eat. Our oaks face some significant threats currently and should be actively preserved. So applications to do so is more than warranted.
i was going to mention to the person above that if left untreated in a larger tree (unlike me with my bonsai getting ones that travel from the motherload in oak above)...they can ruin the trees, big oaks included. its well documented and they also wipe out entire apple orchards even
 

hinmo24t

Omono
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
1,436
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
Some damage to maples in front yard. Silhouette of culprit ctr-right i think. This is minor damage when it comes to these btw...
 

Attachments

  • 20210521_164358.jpg
    20210521_164358.jpg
    215.1 KB · Views: 18

Bnana

Shohin
Messages
413
Reaction score
421
Location
The Netherlands
USDA Zone
8
Apples in orchards are inbred wimps in monoculture. Those are not comparable to real trees like oaks.

Oaks can easily handle defoliation and insect eating birds are declining in both Europe and the US because of food shortages in spring.
Oaks have a huge ecological value because they house lots of insects. Injecting them with pesticides gives them a negative ecological value as they kill insects that feed on them.
 

Jzack605

Chumono
Messages
683
Reaction score
431
Location
Western Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7B
The bigger picture is our oaks across the country are at threat to some decimating disease and pest problems. Oak wilt and sudden oak death is no joke. Just like pine bark beetle, pine wilt, beech leaf diseas, beech bark disease and phytophothora are no joke.

a defoliated oak is a weaker oak much less capable of handling pest and disease pressure. What are you basing the insignificance of an invasive pest like winter moth defoliating an oak being in consequential?

ultimately that species shouldn’t even be there and a native species are much less likely or don’t have the capabilities to handle the pressure of alien pests and disease.

I understand the plight of wildlife preservation for both birds and insects. I build wildlife snags out of trees instead of fully removing for bird, insect and bat habitat.

an injection is a hyper localized application that in the grand scheme of things will have minimal impact on overall pest populations, and will only effect certain species that feed on the injected tree. So any insects that simply use that tree for shelter will be just fine, other than the birds who prey upon them. So that ecological value is not totally lost.
 
Last edited:

MrWunderful

Omono
Messages
1,367
Reaction score
1,725
Location
SF Bay area
USDA Zone
10b
Look up “bacillius thuringiensis” its an organic insecticide for caterpillars that is earthworm safe and bee safe. Ive found it works extremely well with minimal application, and didnt even need to use it this year after applying last year.
 

Bnana

Shohin
Messages
413
Reaction score
421
Location
The Netherlands
USDA Zone
8
will have minimal impact on overall pest populations, and will only effect certain species that feed on the injected tree. So any insects that simply use that tree for shelter will be just fine, other than the birds who prey upon them. So that ecological value is not totally lost.
Want do you think an oak has a high ecological value. It's because many insects feed on it, directly or indirectly. And birds feed on those. Injecting removed the basis of this and turns it into a mere perch.
 

Jzack605

Chumono
Messages
683
Reaction score
431
Location
Western Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7B
Want do you think an oak has a high ecological value. It's because many insects feed on it, directly or indirectly. And birds feed on those. Injecting removed the basis of this and turns it into a mere perch.
I understand that value and I addressed that.

the injection only effects insects that may feed on the oak, mainly the winter moths.

what are you basing the idea that a defoliated oak is inconsequential? Losing that oak to pest or disease means that the habitat is completely gone and it’s value becomes finite, and that’s only if the dead tree is left to stand. Which is rare outside of nature settings.
 

Bnana

Shohin
Messages
413
Reaction score
421
Location
The Netherlands
USDA Zone
8
There are dozens of species feeding on oak, many different caterpillars, aphids, beetles etc and the wasps, syrphids, carnivorous beetles, spiders etc. feeding on those. Eventually it also affects the animals that should feed on the fallen leaves. Saying it only affects winter months is simply false. Why do you think all those insects and birds like oak over other tree species? That's because they can feed on it.

Many insect populations fluctuate and have peak years. They can completely defoliate trees, in particular oak. Of course this will reduce the growth of that tree, I never said it's inconsequential, but they produce new leaves and can recover. That's only an issue when it happens year after year or the tree is weak for other reasons, any forestry book will tell you that.

And a dead oak is still better than a poisonous oak. In that case the habitat is also gone.

I honestly do not understand that that is even allowed in the US. It surely isn't here.
 

Forsoothe!

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,731
Reaction score
7,275
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
6b
I suppose the loss of the American Elm, Chestnut and Green Ash don't bother you either as long as the bugs are happy?
 

Jzack605

Chumono
Messages
683
Reaction score
431
Location
Western Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7B
A dead oak is better than a living oak?

my man, I ask that you rethink that one.

especially in the context of ecological values.
 
Last edited:

Jzack605

Chumono
Messages
683
Reaction score
431
Location
Western Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7B
I suppose the loss of the American Elm, Chestnut and Green Ash don't bother you either as long as the bugs are happy?
Exactly.

these are preservation tools we are debating to keep our trees healthy and in tact. Loss of species is by no means insignificant. I just saw a video of a large swath of forest completely lost to EAB. The remaining Tulips and other species will be gone in short order as well with the loss of the forest as they had grown and competed with the ash. Those remaining trees were not accustomed to growing in a field.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom