Insect pests can sometimes seem to come out of nowhere. One minute everything looks fine, the next minute your tree is looking differently than it did before. In many cases, the pests are controllable and your tree will be fine with the proper treatment. All insects have cyclic populations, meaning some years there may be very high population levels and then other years they have very low population levels. These population levels are influenced by a variety of factors.
Two pests that are commonly observed this time of year are the Cottony Maple Scale and the Honey Locust Plant Bug. The past few years there have been increased population levels of Cottony Maple Scale, it is hard to say how those levels will look this year.
Cottony Maple Scale can be an unsightly pest when on your trees. Most commonly found on Silver Maples, they look like white fuzz lined up and down the smaller branches/twigs of your tree. They cause significant tip die back and in some cases branch loss. It is best to have a Certified Arborist inspect your tree to determine if treatment is necessary or not. In some cases, population levels on your tree may not warrant the need for treatment.
Honey Locust Plant Bug tends to be a more consistent pest as far as population levels are concerned. Albeit they have their years of higher and lower populations, they tend to be fairly consistent as to impact on the tree. They only affect Honey Locust trees and depending on the size of the tree and the importance of the tree to the site, will determine the need for treatment. Honey Locust Plant Bug is not a lethal pest to your tree, but it can cause an impact on the aesthetic display of the tree and continual stress from the pest over time can cause a decrease in vigor of the plant.
There are many factors that go into the determination of treatment for a pest on your tree. Treatments can vary from no treatment to annual chemical treatments and everything in between. It is best to work with a Certified Arborist to help you determine the best options for maintaining the health of your trees.
To learn more about these pests or any other pests you are seeing on your trees, visit our Plant Health Care page and see if you can identify the pests on your tree.