Stop Tree Worms – How to Band a Tree

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Every year tree worms, inch worms, and other danglers, infest our trees.  Tree banding is an age old method of stopping tree worms from getting into trees.  In recent years, there has been an increase in falling canker worms (or inch worms).  You can hire a tree company to get rid of them, but if you feel like a project, you can do it yourself.

You may have seen them dangling from your trees for a few months each Spring. Their goal is to migrate to the top of your trees or shrubs to lay their eggs. Once that is done, it is too late.

Their hang around from four to five weeks. Fall cankerworms are not a threat to healthy trees. Especially if the leaves are gone. With the new growth of leaves, a healthy tree can still recover.

They are a real nuisance, falling on your cars and frightening your children. They drop on you when you walk under a tree and you carry then into your house. There is something your can do to lessen the effect of these worms and it isn’t difficult at all.

Battling Tree Worms

alt="tree worms and banding"There are many insects and pest that can destroy your garden if you don’t stop them. With Spring arriving, property owners also have to worry about the arrival of canker worms and other insects you can find in the trees around your home.

Leaf-eating insects are not only a nuisance; they can cause great damage or even destroy a grown tree. You may have run into one dangling from a silk thread as you walked under a tree. It is a battle between cancer worms and the trees you love and have planted and nurtured.  Inchworms come in two destructive types of moths that start as small larvae.

The moth lays its eggs on the bark of trees in the fall and hibernates as a pupa during the winter months. They brown or green in appearance eat the leaves of trees. The key to preventing these inchworms from getting to the top of your trees is to band your trees.

What is Tree Banding

Banding a tree is the process of creating a barrier to prevent insects such as tree worms from reaching the top of a tree. While banding is not very attractive, neither is a tree being destroyed by inchworms.  You can hire a landscape company to band your trees or if you want to do it yourself; it can be done with little problem.

The tools you will need to band a tree are, roofing paper, tar or Tanglefoot, Tangle Guard Paper Tree Wrap, a staple gun or tacks. You should be able to find tar and Tanglefoot at a hardware store, Lowe’s, HomeDepot or online.  Banding is not foolproof, even when you have banded your trees. Inchworms can be carried on the wind and a few can still end up in one of your trees.

How to Band a Tree

The bands should be put on during the first warm days of early spring before the females can climb int to trees to lay eggs. the process of banding can be redone yearly as needed.  These are the supplies you will need for the project. These materials are can be purchased at most hardware or garden stores:

  • Staples
  • A Staple gun
  • Tanglefoot™ (glue)
  • Disposable long length gloves
  • Cotton batting strip or fiberglass insulation
  • Electrical tape for small trees or bushes

Place a strip of cotton or fiberglass insulation around the tree. Position it about three feet from the bottom of the tree. Tightly put roofing felt or plastic sheeting over the strip and fasten it to the tree with the staple gun or electrical tape. Put on rubber gloves before applying a smear of Tanglefoot (TM) glue on the band.

If there are breaks in the tree or areas where insects can climb under the guard paper, place a fiber barrier between the paper and the tree before stapling or tacking the Tanglefoot (TM) guard paper to the tree.

In Conclusion

As you can see, preventing canker worms and other destructive such as tent caterpillars, gypsy root weevils, and pecan weevils, from destroying your trees, is pretty simple.  You can buy the products individually, or you can purchase a kit for about $40. Banding is a green way to combat pests in your garden.

  • 2-3 % oil sprays such as bacillus thuringite NSIS, can also be used to apply to the trunk to control and kill eggs.

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