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KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - HEALTHY TREES FOR SPRING
Kathleen Weaver Zech - Dean's Team Director of Buyers Agency Services

CHECK YOUR TREES THIS SPRING FOR DANGEROUS INSECTS

It's a good idea in the spring to keep an eye on your trees for traces of troublesome insects that will cause problems as we move into warmer weather. Experts from Morton Arboretum tell us three are especially pesky: bagworms, gypsy moths and Zimmerman pine moths.

Bagworms are usually found on junipers and arborvitae. These caterpillars feed on needles and leaves in the summer then form them into bags that hang down resembling pine cones.  They are smaller, about 2.5 inches long. The problem is that they hold about 1,000 eggs to perpetuate the next generation. It's easier to see them before trees leaf out. Cut them off well before June when they will hatch.

Gypsy Moths leave egg masses usually on the lower 20 feet of the trunk and the underside of the lower branches. The masses are tan to yellowish brown and are less than an inch wide and about an inch and a half long. Scrape them off carefully, trying not to remove too much bark. They can trigger allergic reactions so wear gloves and even a face mask if you have severe allergies. Just plunge them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.

Zimmerman Moths tunnel into Austrian and Scots pines and feed under the bark. They can weaken branches, which can die or break off in the wind. The larvae are almost impossible to see. If you see any white or pinkish pitch dripping, you probably have an infestation.  Keep your pines healthy, they are attracted to stressed trees. You can apply insecticide to the bark and needles in April and August.

To see images and obtain other info click here.

Happy Gardening!  My meteorology expert (my husband Ken) tells me spring is just around the corner!!!

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 11:42 AM by Dean's Team

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