It's normal to see insects crawling on your trees, so you might not give it much thought. However, certain insects are harmful to trees. Many species of beetles, caterpillars, wood-boring insects, and moths can make your trees sick, or even kill them. Here's a look at how these insects hurt your trees, how to handle an infestation, and when you need to have a tree removed.
How Insects Harm Trees
Insects hurt trees by burrowing underneath the bark. Some insects ride out the winter under tree bark, but once they reproduce and the larvae start boring into the tree, the real destruction begins. Larvae can do so much damage that a tree can't spread nourishment throughout the branches and the tree starts to die.
Larvae are also harmful to the leaves of trees. They feed on the leaves, killing them or completely stripping them from the trees. This makes the trees sick, weak, and open to infestations and infections. Some insects that bore into trees carry fungal diseases along with them. The insects themselves may not kill a tree, but the fungal diseases might if the tree isn't treated.
How To Handle An Infestation
If a tree doesn't have full, lush leaf growth in the spring, insects might be to blame. If you see damaged areas along the trunk or you see branches that look dead but they're not injured, your tree could have an infestation. If you think one of your trees is sick or is infested with bugs, you may want to try pesticides or other treatments before resorting to tree removal.
The first step is to know what insect you're dealing with. If you can't identify the type of insect infesting your trees, call your county extension office or an arborist for help. The treatment depends on the type of insect and the type of damage it causes. The arborist might pour treatments on the ground for a tree to absorb or inject the tree so the treatments can spread throughout the tree's system.
When Tree Removal Is The Best Option
You may want to save your tree when possible, especially if it has a prominent place in your yard, is mature, or adds beauty with flowers or color. However, when a tree is dying, it becomes a hazard on your property. If you've tried treatments and the tree gets worse and branches die off, you may want to have the tree removed before it dies completely and falls over during a storm.
A dead tree is weak and unstable, so it's good to have a dead tree removed before storm season or winter begins as weather conditions could cause the tree to fall. However, a dead tree can be removed any time of the year, and the sooner you do it, the better. Otherwise, the tree might fall on power lines, your house, or your car.
A tree removal company takes extra precautions with unstable trees, but they can be removed just like any other tree and hauled away from your property. Another good reason to remove the tree in a timely manner is to keep it from spreading the infestation to other trees in your yard.
For more information, contact a tree removal service.