Egad! There are little worms, green and otherwise, making tatters
of my tree leaves--esp. those of the maples. Will the trees
survive this onslaught? Does anything, preferably nontoxic, stop
them? If something like dormant oil spray would work, I could at
least spray my little Japanese maples. On Monday, I will call my
They were probably tent caterpillars. This year there has been an
explosion in their population in Massachusetts. They defoliated a lot of
the trees on the main street of Greeenfield, for example.
This is a normal cyclical thing, which peaks every 10 years or so. It
has been reported on forr more than a century. When the tent catepillar
population surges, predators expand to bring them back under control.
The paper here quoted some experts who say that the caterpillars will be
done by mid June and that most of the trees that have been defoliated
will grow new leaves. The exceptions would be trees that were already in
bad shape. They also suggest keeping defoliated trees well-watered.
Thanks, Jenny. I haven't noticed any tents around here, but the
principle should still be the same. These trees were in good
shape, so I'm glad to hear there is hope. Watering is a good
idea! P.S. Nice to see you!
There is another pest in Eastern Mass which isn't as benign, though I'm
not sure you can do anything about it.
This is the only group I'm reading and posting to regularly as I have
had to cut way back on my online activities due to demands of daily
life. My soon-to-be 2 year old garden looks about 10 times nicer than it
did last year thanks to the help I got here.
Winter moths larvae. See
for more info.
Here's another article from The Patriot Ledger
It's too late to hit them with biological controls, they have to be
applied when the larvae are very small, they're too big now, I guess.
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
Crud! I think you're right. Looks like water is the way to go,
and maybe oil in the fall. :-( I have to say I noticed moths at
my back window even in the winter--and that is very near the
hardest-hit trees. More :-( (But thanks for the info!)
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