The Gypsy Moth & Emerald Ash Borer: What You Need To Know

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

The Gypsy Moth in Connecticut

The gypsy moth has been causing damage to Connecticut’s trees for over 100 years. When the gypsy moth population is low, tree damage is fairly restricted. However, many towns throughout Connecticut have been facing severe gypsy moth outbreaks over the last few years. The damage done to trees in infested areas has been irreparable, and we receive many calls at Eric’s Tree Service from homeowners unsure how to proceed.

What Causes A Gypsy Moth Outbreak?

One of the major factors influencing the gypsy moth population is a specific type of fungus that keeps the pest population in check. This fungus requires rain to become activated, and the droughts in previous years have caused a decline in the fungus, thus allowing the gypsy moth population to grow significantly. Certain parts of the state, particularly the south-central and eastern Connecticut areas, have reached outbreak status of the gypsy moth population.

Signs of a Gypsy Moth Outbreak

1. Caterpillars, caterpillars,  everywhere! The moth’s larvae, or caterpillars, infest trees and descend into lawns and nearby structures. In a severe outbreak, homeowners can’t ignore the incessant number of these pests invading their outdoor living space.

2. It feels like spring, but it looks like winter.  Gypsy moths feed on the leaves of trees. In severe outbreaks, defoliation occurs to such an extent that your trees start to look barren and ready for winter, even though they should be budding green.

The Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

D-shaped exit holes left by the Emerald Ash Borer.

A small green beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer is killing millions of ash trees. This invasive pest is not native to North America, and was first spotted on the continent in the early 2000’s. The appearance of this non-native pest is likely the result of foreign wood being used in shipping trade goods from overseas. It is the larvae, not the beetle, that cause the most damage to the ash tree. Larvae create galleries under the bark and tunnel into a tree’s cambium tissue, destroying the tree’s vascular system. With a tree unable to adequately receive nutrients, the tree dies quickly from infestation.

Signs of an Emerald Ash Borer Outbreak

1. Look for the capital D!   The Emerald Ash Borer creates a D-shaped exit hole in the bark of an ash tree. The hole is a result of the adult beetle chewing it’s way out of the tree.

2. Bark Flecking & Blonding.   Light patches of bark appear when birds are looking for insects. If you see birds pecking at your trees, it’s a sign of an insect infestation.

Protect Your Trees!

Preventative Inspection & Annual Injections

Annual inspections by a certified arborist can prolong the life of your trees. If your tree is still budding and producing leaves, a certified arborist can provide you with environmentally friendly options to support the health of your trees. If your trees have been suffering from infestation or infection, soil injections can be used if the tree still shows a healthy canopy. When a tree’s canopy begins to dissipate, or mushrooms appear at the base of the tree, treatment is most likely not the answer and removal is recommended.

Contact us for a free consultation with a certified arborist to assess your trees today.

After Storm Tree Cleanup Tips

After Storm Tree Cleanup Tips

Just Ask Eric!

Today’s Topic: After-Storm Tree Cleanup in Berlin, CT

A reader asks Eric about the best way to handle tree cleanup after a storm or weather event.

Dear Eric,  

How can homeowners best handle tree cleanup after a storm?

My husband significantly cut back the branches of the tree nearest our home after a bad thunderstorm a few years ago. Now, the tree has even more limbs and branches falling during storms than there were before. Why is this happening?


Stormy in Berlin

Berlin, CT

Dear Stormy,

Your tree may have gotten over pruned by your well-intentioned husband. Especially after a storm, many homeowners want to trim fallen branches and prune their trees to prevent further damage to their homes and nearby structures. Many homeowners also want to preserve the appearance of their tree. Over pruning can happen very easily to an untrained professional. Homeowners want their trees to appear symmetrical and often don’t like when they appear unbalanced. During the trimming process, a few trims here and there can quickly turn into over pruning.

Why is this a problem? A tree gets its resources and life-sustaining energy through its foliage. When a tree is damaged, the healing process is similar to a person healing from a wound. The tree needs all its resources at its disposal to heal the wound and repair itself. When its foliage is reduced unnecessarily, the tree’s ability to heal is limited.

Additionally, branches will grow back weaker than the original limbs if too many branches are cut at one time. Therefore, they are more likely to break again during future storms, which is what you may be experiencing now at your Berlin, CT property.

If you would like us to do a free evaluation of the tree in question, please call me at (860) 798-5672 or text (860) 931-0083. We provide tree service to over 90 towns in Connecticut, including Berlin. We would be happy to provide guidance to help you best preserve your trees and your home!

Clear Skies Ahead,


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Can Tree Service Be Performed In The Winter?

Can Tree Service Be Performed In The Winter?

Just Ask Eric!

Today’s Topic: Wintertime Tree Service Mansfield, CT

A reader writes to us asking about wintertime tree service for her Mansfield, CT home.

Dear Eric,  

Can tree service be performed in the winter?

I have tree branches that hang over a section of my driveway. For most of the year, I barely notice them. However, when my family visits for the holidays, my father ALWAYS mentions the low-hanging tree branches too close to his car!

Last year, I told my father I would take care of these branches. Somehow, time went by quickly, and it’s already winter again!

Please help!


Out in the Cold

Mansfield, CT

Dear Out in the Cold,

Above all, we never leave our customers out in the cold when it comes to tree service in CT! Contrary to what many people think, tree removal and some tree services can be performed best in the wintertime.

The winter season is a good time of year to inspect trees for diseased or dead limbs and branches. Without the tree’s canopy present, our tree removal team can see which part of the trees are healthy, and which may pose a potential hazard in the coming year.

Wintertime is also a beneficial time to remove and prune large trees. With the ground frozen, our equipment can overcome areas of soft ground or septic/leach fields that may make tree removal difficult in other seasons.

We would be happy to assess your low-hanging tree branches and any other areas of concern on your Mansfield, CT property this winter! With our headquarters located right in Columbia, CT, we are conveniently located to Mansfield, and can schedule your tree work in a timely, effective manner. Call me at (860) 798-5672 or text (860) 931-0083 to schedule your free branch removal/tree service estimate.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Stay Warm,


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