3 Pests That Can Harm Your Trees

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When most people think of caring for their trees, they think of trimming and fertilizing. Unfortunately, there are other issues that can affect your tree's health and look. Pests, for example, can wreak havoc on your trees, but proper understanding and attention from a professional tree service can help. With this guide, you will understand a few common pests that harm trees and how to restore your trees back to health.


If you notice a sticky residue on the leaves and stems of your tree, you most likely have aphids. This sticky residue is called honeydew. In most cases, the leaves will also show signs of sooty mold, which is a white- or grey-colored growth.

Aphids feed off the trees' leaves and stems, resulting in the honeydew left behind. Over time, the sooty mold growth that builds up from the honeydew and erodes the leaves and stems.

Treating an aphid problem is easy. Consult a tree professional to not only apply an insecticide to the tree but also trim off the damaged, moldy leaves and stems to prevent further distress.

Tent Caterpillar

To many, caterpillars are cute insects that pose no harm. However, tent caterpillars can actually do a large amount of damage to your trees.

Tent caterpillars feed on all types of trees, including hardwood trees, such as oak, sugar maples, aspens, and many other species. Signs of these caterpillars are a bit difficult to see.

You may notice small holes and tears in the leaves. Also, there will be early defoliation, which is when the leaves or greenery fall off the tree early.

Other signs of these caterpillars include large tents made out of a silky material. These tents are usually white or silver in color. They will most likely be seen in the middle or end of the spring season.

The best option for ridding your tree of tent caterpillars is to quickly treat the tree with an insecticide. Then, trim off the damaged areas of the tree, including any limbs and branches where tents are present.

Japanese Beetles

Finally, Japanese beetles are a big problem for trees, especially if you have trees that flower through the spring and summer seasons.

Signs of beetles include small holes in the leaves and petals of the tree's flowers. You may also notice brown or reddish-brown colored spots on the leaves or early defoliation of the leaves and flowers. Most people will see the Japanese beetles as well. Shake a few branches of your tree to see if the beetles start to quickly fly away.

As with other pests, your best option is to treat the tree with an insecticide when you first see the beetles. Also, apply a repellent in the early part of spring for prevention.