While the gypsy moth may be the most well known predator of oaks in Connecticut, the oak leafroller, oak leaftier, and oak skeletonizer are three additional pests than can cause harm to your oak trees.
The oak leafroller can infect various types of oak trees. This moth lays its eggs in oval masses on the barks of host trees in July. The egg masses overwinter on the tree and hatch when the tree begins to bloom. After hatching, the moth’s larvae web together, rolling the tree’s leaves to form shelter and feeding on the tree’s leaves. This practice results in damaged leaves and can result in defoliation with heavy infestations. Most damage from this pest will be observable by late June. Otherwise healthy trees can typically survive one year of damage from this pest.
The oak leftier can infest all oak types, but is most commonly found on red oaks. Larvae of this species hatch in April and chew on the season’s developing buds and leaves. With heavy infestations, a large percentage of buds may be destroyed. Parasites usually keep populations of the oak leftier in check, but outbreaks can still occur.
Thirdly, the oak skeletonizer can also infect oak trees. Larvae of this species spin small, distinctive, flat white circular webs on the undersides of leaves. When disturbed, these larvae drop on silk threads and hang mid air. Larvae feed on leaves of oak trees and skeletonize the leaves. Excess damage can leave a tree vulnerable to infestations of other insects.
No matter what type of pest may be affecting your oak tree, it’s important to identify the cause and determine if treatment is necessary. As a licensed arborist, Eric and his crew are ready to assist you in keeping your property healthy and vibrant. Call or text Eric to schedule your free consultation today.