Seasonal maintenanceHow to Recognize Common Fall Infestations in Your Landscape

October 21, 2016
common fall infestations
Webs on the ends of tree branches are a sign of fall webworm.

After you have a brand new landscape installed, you know that you have to put in a certain amount of landscape maintenance to keep it healthy and beautiful. You water your landscape, deadhead flowers, prune trees, and rake leaves. Another important part of maintaining a landscape is keeping an eye out for infestations. The moment you see a tree, shrub, flower, or other plant that looks unhealthy, it’s important to have a professional come to treat it right away. An untended infestation could spread, killing the plant and spreading to others. This not only creates a bigger and more expensive problem to fix, but it can also be dangerous. A dead tree is unstable, and dead branches have a chance of falling on those passing by underneath the tree. To prevent the damage of infestation, make sure you look out for these warning signs.

Tree Webs

One of the most common fall infestations is fall webworms. If you see large webs on the ends of your tree branches, your trees are infested with fall webworms. Although the webs look like they could be spider webs, they are actually created by worms that spin webs on the ends of tree branches and then eat the leaves from inside the web. To treat fall webworms, remove any webs you see and have your trees treated with an insecticide. When spring rolls around, have your trees treated with insecticide again to reduce the chances that the fall webworms will come back next year.

Needle Loss

It is natural for many trees and shrubs with needles to shed a certain amount of them. A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to where the needles are browning and dropping off. Generally, trees and shrubs with needles will shed the older needles towards the center of the plant. If you notice lots of new needles on the outside of the plant turning brown and dropping off, then you likely have a problem. But don’t go spraying insecticide just yet!

There are a variety of different reasons that needles can brown and drop off. Perhaps you have spider mites that are feeding on the sap from your tree’s needles. Or maybe you have a fungal disease on your hands that requires a specific treatment to eradicate. The best route is to call a professional to diagnose and treat the problem before it gets out of hand.

Leaf Discoloration or Loss

It’s normal for trees to lose their leaves in fall, but if you notice anything out of the ordinary, you probably have an infestation. Look for leaves that have bumps, that are losing their leaves early, or that have visible insects on the bottoms of the leaves or on other parts of the tree. Young trees can be especially susceptible to fall infestations and disease, so be sure to keep a close eye on them. There are a wide range of fall infestations that can discolor leaves, so be sure to contact a professional the moment you notice something out of the ordinary.

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