What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Their Aging Trees

Where did all the Cankerworms go in the spring of 2019


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Cankerworm 2010-2011

December 31, 2011
 13 cankerworms today total of  72

December 30, 2011
 3 cankerworms today total of 59
So far the cankerworms have been active for 19 days.  I have had a total of 59 cankerworms.  Last year for the first 19 days I counted 22.  For December 2009 38.  For all of December of 2008, I counted 259 female cankerworms, and for 2007 only 21 female cankerworms.

One would assume for 2007 it would have been a light year and yet by the end of the season which was in February of 2008.  That was not the case since there were a total of  2537.   So lets hope that January is a light month.

December 29, 2011
 4 cankerworms today total of 56 
Today in the early morning it was in the high 20’s but has warmed up nicely into the 50’s.  Interestingly, the cankerworms that I am seeing on my trap are now coming up on the shady side of the trunk.  In the past they start crawling up the sunny side and as the season progresses they are more numerous on the shady side.  To me that means that they are on the end of their migration cycle.  I think it will be a pretty light year.  I looked at 8 large city trees yesterday and a few of them had 6 cankerworms total and the rest had none at all. 

December 28, 2011
4 cankerworms today total of 52

December 27, 2011
0 cankerworms today total of 48

December 26, 2011
3 cankerworms today total of 48

The count this year is a little ahead of last year.  More later on the numbers as compared to previous years.

December 25, 2011
 8 cankerworms today total of 45
Christmas day was mild in the 50s        I usually check the numbers of worms trapped mid morning.  Sometimes it is real early and others I have other things to do and don’t get around to checking until late in the day.  Since the worms are moving much more now I will try to check the traps around 9:00 AM. 

December 24, 2011
 7 cankerworms today total of 37

Not too surprising but here is a little buildup.  Seven cankerworms in one day might seen like a lot but several seasons ago, on Christmas day I captured over 100 cankerworms.   I am almost through compiling daily worm statistics for as many years as I have been keeping this information.  During some of the earliest years I did not keep daily records.  There will be more about this soon.

December 23, 2011
 3 cankerworms today total of 30

December 22, 2011
1 cankerworm today total of 27

December 21, 2011
 0 cankerworm today total of 26
Rained most of the night and pretty heavy rain all morning. Cankerworm count very low totals.

December 20, 2011
 3 cankerworms today total of 26

December 19, 2011
2 cankerworm today total of 23 

December 18, 2011
2 cankerworms today total of 21

December 17, 2011
2 cankerworms today total of 19

December 16, 2011
4 cankerworms today total of 17
Looks like a mild day again today.  As in years past the insects first appear on the sunny side of the tree.  I had to remove the large willow oak in the front yard because of root decay.  The tree I am now using is in the back yard and is equally as big.  I will measure it this afternoon.  Since I saw four cankerworms today, I suspect we will see an increase.  December 9th to the 16 is 7 days.  Another week and I think we can make a firm prediction on the severity of the fall cankerworms for 2011/2012. 

December 15, 2011
1 cankerworm today total of 13
Very mild.  Temperature got into mid 60’s today.

December 14, 2011
1 cankerworm today total of 12
I stopped and looked at about 10 street trees today and several park trees yesterday.  Today I found one large street tree with four cankerworms and two others trees with 2 each.  That’s eight cankerworms for at least a dozen trees.  It is still a little early to predict what the season will bring.  In looking over past records, I noted that there were a total of 59 cankerworms captured on the trap at my residence in 2010/2011.    I only banded one tree last year and saw no defoliation from any of the others.  Interestingly the worst day in 2007/2008 I captured 361 cankerworms in my trap in one day.  ( Sunday January 13, 2008).

The cankerworm season will run about 100 days from start to finish.  In recent years the bulk of the cankerworms appear in January.  Since I was looking up some past information, this bug’s Latin name is Erannis tiliaria.  Common names are inch worm, linden looper, fall cankerworm,

December 13, 2011
1 cankerworm today total of 11
It takes about two weeks after you first see any female cankerworms before the main migration hits.  Today I saw just one cankerworm.

December 12, 2011
2 cankerworms today  Total of 10
As I checked the trap today I found something interesting.  It is in the cankerworm family but I do not know the exact identification.   This worm like insect with the legs at the front and rear looks like what one would see in the spring a week or two after the cankerworms hatch..  This guy has matured in the late fall, and I do not see how it will survive the winter. There are many varieties of cankerworm or looper.  We used to call them inch worms when I was in grammar school.
Live and Learn.     cankerworm gray fall caterpiller 2011_edited-1  Most of the cankerworms we see in the Spring are green or gray.  In the Spring we have what is called the Spring Cankerworm although it does not do the damage that the Fall Cankerworm does.  Maybe the above worm will survive until spring, take a short rest period and emerge in April or early spring along with the Fall Cankerworm.

December 11, 2011
1 cankerworms today  Total 8
id day its 48 degrees pretty cold over night.   I was a little surprised there were not more cankerworms on the trap.  Refer to past history about what to expect.  Best place to start would be Cankerworms 2007/ 2008

December 10, 2011
5 cankerworms today   Total 7

December 9, 2011
2 Cankerworms today  Total 2  This is the first day of activity for 2011
I have changed treesI am now using a large willow oak in the back yard.  This tree has always had lots of cankerworms in it during a bad season.  I had to remove the willow oak in the front yard because it had root rot.  (Much more about this later)  I looked at the tree early this morning and discovered two female cankerworms going up the tar paper.  They had not reached the Tanglefoot and I did not bother to mash them yet.  I will check later today for more worms and count them for a daily total.

December 5, 2011
I just now have gotten around to getting up my cankerworm trap.  There are a few reasons.  It’s to early ... we need about 3 days of hard freeze in a row.  It is 2:00 PM and 60 degrees.  High tomorrow will be 71.  Thursday it is to be 32 in the morning.  Then if things hold true it will be 25 on Sat, 26 on Sunday and 43 next Monday.  For a few days after that it will again be cold.  This might be enough to bring out the cankerworms.

I had to remove the very large willow oak in my front yard which I have been banding for many years.

csfemale_good_3668    I had to take the willow oak down because of root rot.  That is an interesting story for another day.  Above somewhat enlarged is the wingless female.  I put only a 1 inch band of Tanglefoot. on my trap and can easily add more if we have a bad infestation.  I think it will be light for 2011/2012.

November 30, 2011
We have had a few cool days but not enough to bring out the cankerworms.  A lot of contractors are putting up traps.  Some traps are being installed by folks who are not well informed or just lazy.  Here is an example of a trap. Whoever is installing the trap will be back to apply Tanglefoot or the equivalent.  cankerworm-trap-poor-nov-20  Not a very nice job.  Insects will be able to crawl up under this trap.

November 18, 2011 Maybe we will see the cankerworms soon.  We had about 31 degrees this morning and it will be pretty cold tomorrow.  There was a heavy frost in my yard at about 7:30.  If it warms up again then the migration could be delayed a lot.  The soil cools down a lot slower than the air.  Refer to past years to see how the seasons developed.

November 7, 2011
We are getting close.  You will not see any cankerworms until we have a good cold snap.  The temperature needs to drop to high 20’s for two or three days.  Then we will see some activity.  The female cankerworms will start emerging from the ground and move up the trees slowly.  In the past I will find one or two on the trap and then a slow gradual rise in the numbers.

One strange thing is that the bulk of the movement several years ago was in December.  Christmas day  (December 25th) was the peak movement some years ago but recently January is the most active month.

Personally, I don’t think we will have a heavy infestation here in Charlotte.  For several years I have been banding one tree to see what the activity will be.  In the first week after I see lots of insects in the, then I will band the rest of my trees.  If it is really slow like last year, I will not band any other trees.  This saves me time and money and keeps the used traps from the landfill.  As mentioned below Blackhawk Hardware sold 17 miles of Tar Paper.  The combination of tar paper and Tanglefoot and the plastic from the Bug Barrier will be in the landfills for long, long time.


October 3, 2011
Shortly,  I will post a new page for the 2001/ 2012 season.  A number of people have asked about what to expect for the cankerworm problem this year. I will not be able to tell until we have some really cold weather where the temperature drops to about 27 degrees for a couple of days.  After that we will see the volume of insects.  I suspect it will be light, and spending time and money on banding will be a waste of time and money plus the fact that the used traps put a lot of waste in the landfill that will be there for a very long time.  Blackhawk Hardware here in Charlotte sold over 17 miles of tar paper in 2009.  That’s a lot of tar paper plus all the gallons of Tanglefoot is a lot to go in the dump.

If you are a do it-your-selfer or can afford to wait until the cankerworms start to move then stock up on materials.  You will be able to use the materials for quite a few years although Tanglefoot eventually dries out.  Needless to say, there are links from previous years that will tell you about  the cankerworm if you are new to the problem in Charlotte.   The place to start is the cankerworm 2007/2008. 



August 24, 2011
In preparing for the upcoming season, I have reviewed the information on the entire site and made some minor changes.  If you are interested in a comprehensive review then go to the Cankerworm 2007-2008. The reason for this is that I gave a program in 2007 and covered most of the important information.  The year to year details are shown in the links on the links in the left sidebar.  I will add a page for the 2001/2012 season soon.

April 27, 2011
Shortly after the post of March 24th, I saw some cankerworms coming up the trunk.  There were about a dozen on the trap.  At this point had there been a major hatch, the trees would have shown major defoliation.  Also as I observed the traps on city trees and other private trees, I saw very few cankerworms.  My conclusion is that it was a bad year for the cankerworms and a good year for us.  There will be no more postings until closer to fall.

As a followup note, one of the theories as to why is that there is a small egg eating wasp (Telenomus alsophilae) that has been absent or in low supple in the Charlotte area for some time now.  I checked the internet to see what this wasp looked like and what its life cycle and habits are and did not come up with much.   Personally, I do not believe that banding would do us much good if we had a major infestation year after year because there are just so many trees that are not banded.

I do think that banding your own trees and your neighbors trees will lead to less defoliation of your trees.  I have photos of several years ago that made a pretty good case when comparing close together neighborhood trees that were banded and not banded.

Unless I come upon something of real interest, I will not post further updates until fall of 2011.

March 24, 2011
 This years crop of cankerworms is hatching today.  I looked at one of my traps and saw quite a few tiny bright green worms which are the young cankerworms.  They have emerged from the eggs that the females laid on the tar paper.  The females were tying to get to the top of the tree, but the cankerworm trap stopped them and the males were attracted there by chemical pheromones.  This is about the time I expected to see the young ones.  In 2007 I saw them hatch on March 28th.

Do not take down your cankerworm traps quite yet.  I think by April 15th or late April it will be OK to remove them since it takes several days to a week before you will see evidence of them feeding in the trees.  The insects feed for about three weeks.
Continued from the home page. The young cankerworms will come down from the trees they are feeding in and once on the ground will try to climb again to feed on the vegetation they hope to find there.  They often will strip all the leaves off the tree, and since they are still hungry they look for more food.

If they go up your tree this spring, and you trap them you will have a good idea as to how bad an infestation there will be this fall.

I had 1/100 as many cankerworms in the trap this year as I did back in 2006 and predicted the low count based on the count from the previous season.  I trapped 55 female cankerworms in one tree this season and decided to not band the other trees in my yard.

Several years ago I reported in more detail on what to expect in the spring.  If you care to read about that go to this link   Springtime

We will be watching them closely; however, I do not expect to see major defoliation in the Myers Park and Dilworth areas of Charlotte.  I do not know what other neighborhoods experienced however, I have heard that there are very few places around Charlotte where there are cankerworm problems this year.  I suspect Cabarrus County will have issues because they were heavily infested last year.

March 13, 2011

I have not posted anything here since the female cankerworms stopped climbing.  In the past the, last days of March the cankerworms will hatch from their eggs.  You can see egg clusters on many of the traps assuming that some cankerworms have been caught.  Look for them later in March.  They start feeding immediately but the damage will not be visible for several days.   Total insects trapped for the year on this one tree are 59.

I will keep looking at my trap but not think I will see anything happening until early spring in late March.  I will post some photos and observations and try to figure out what is happening in other parts of North Carolina.

February 9, 2011  I believe they are finished for the year.  This is a tremendous difference from the earlier years when we had these totals.   Fall 2006/2007, there were 5941 insects caught in the same trap.  This means that on the same tree were 100 times as many fall cankerworms trapped as in 2010/11. In 2007/2008 there were 2522 insects captured and 1364 insects in 2008/2009.

CW 0  Total 59

February 8, 2011
CW 0  Total 59

February 7, 2011
CW 0  Total 59

February 6, 2011 Saw one lone female cankerworm on the trap.
CW 1  Total 59

February 5, 2011
CW 0  Total 58

February 4, 2011
CW 0  Total 58

February 3, 2011
CW 1 Total 58

February 2, 2011
CW 0  Total 57

February 1, 2011  No worms today and this is the month that they stop moving up the trees.
CW 0  Total 57

January 31, 2011
CW 2  Total  57

January 30, 2011   
CW 1  Total 55

January 29, 2011
CW 0 Total 54

January 28, 2011 ... Lest We Forget  Several years ago, actually Spring of 2006 was the year we had so much cankerworm activity.  In the Spring of that year I photographed several trees to try to illustrate the amount of defoliation.  One of the better shots I got was of a house with a banded tree in the front yard which was not affected much by the chewing insects.  The trees in the background were largely defoliated   Below is the photograph.

CW 0 Total  54        Lets hope we do not see this type of defoliation again.

             Sccw_more defoloiation

January 27, 2011
CW 2  Total 54

January 26, 2011
CW 1  Total 53

January 25, 2011
CW 0 Total 52

January 24, 2011  The past few days have been clear and cold.  I think they are almost done.
CW 0 Total 52

January 23, 2011
CW 1  Total 52

January 22, 2011
CW2  Total 51

January 21, 2011 Six cankerworms today.
CW 6 Total 49

January 20, 2011 Five cankerworms ...things are picking up speed, does this mean anything?
CW 5 Total 43

January 19, 2011 Four cankerworms
CW4  Total 38

January 18,2011  Today there were 4 new cankerworms captured.  I wrote a comment a number of days ago that the insects always seem to first start coming up on the south side of the tree where the sun shines on the trunk and the grass.  After a while the insects slow down climbing on that side of the tree and come up on the north or shady side of the tree.  The sun does not move directly overhead in the winter so the intensity of the sun is or course less during the winter.
I have noticed that the insects have quit coming up on the south side of the tree and are coming up on the northern side.  The high and low temperature for today is 35 to 48 degrees.  When the days are in the 50s the insects move a great deal.
CW 4 Total 34

January 17, 2011  It is warmer today and chance of rain this afternoon.  Temperatures have moderated and at 10:00 am is 39 degrees.  Today there were two cankerworms in the trap.

To put things in perspective, here we are in the middle of January and have 30 insects.  In the fall of 2006 in November we had 26 insects.  In December of this year we had a total of 11 female cankerworms and in December of 2006 had 1987 insects trapped in the trap.  In mid January as stated above we have a total of 30 insects and in January of 2006 we had 3901 just for that month.  By early February in the past, the migration has stopped about the fifth of the month.  I believe they will wind down as they usually do in February. 

CW2 Total 30

January 16,  2011 Found two cankerworms.   The snow is mostly gone from the trunk of the tree.
CW2 total 28

January 15, 2011  Found one cankerworm.  A lot of grass is now exposed and some of the base of the tree does not have ice and snow.
CW1 total 26

January 14, 2011 Did not find any cankerworms.
CW 0  Total 25

January 13, 2011  Did not find any cankerworms
CW0 Total 25

January 12, 2011 Pavement is nothing but pure ice.  The only way to safely walk outside is break through the icy crust on the snow.  Streets are clear on the main roads and were yesterday.  It appears to me that there is no way for a self respecting cankerworm to get from the ground up through the snow and ice at the base of the tree.  I don’t expect to see anymore until it warms and the grass is visible again.  It seems City Arborist Don McSween and his team have only found ten plus or minus cankerworms on trees that in the past have been heavily affected.  I have looked at various street and park trees and see nothing.
CW 0 Total 25

 January 11, 2011 Snow has about 1/4 inch on top of it.  That is not enough to give us serious ice damage to our trees unless the wind gets up real high.  Will be barely above freezing today.  No cankerworms.
CW 0 Total 25

January 10, 2011  Monday    Today we are waking up to three inches of snow.  Do not expect any cankerworms today but will look later in the day.  Unless they can crawl up through the snow there will be no cankerworms to day.  If there are any they arrived on the trap before 4:00 am this morning.

I checked the tree about 10:00 am where we had 3 to 4 inches of snow.  Supposed to get freezing rain this afternoon and tonight so it will be a mess.  There were no cankerworms. at 10:00 AM.
CW 0 Total 25

January 9, 2011   Sunday  trapped one cankerworm.
CW 1 Total 25

January 8, 2011 Saturday I found two cankerworms.  They are showing up on the opposite side of the tree.
CW 2 Total 24

January 7, 2011  Friday,  no cankerworms.
CW 0 Total 22

January 6, 2011  Moderate weather this morning and I found 4 cankerworms since yesterday.  The migration is picking up speed.
CW 4 Total 22

January 5, 2011  Three Female trapped today.
CW 3 Total 18

January 4, 2011 No cankerworms today.
CW 0 Total 15

January 3, 2011 Cold at 27 in early morning.  Not supposed to get up over 50 degrees today.  Quite sunny and nice, but not cankerworms today.
CW 0 total 15

January 2, 2011 Rainy overnight mid ay about 60 degrees.  Found two cankerworms today.  The question now is how does this compare with previous years. 
CW 2, Total 15

January 1, 2011   Two  cankerworms today.
CW 2 Total 13


December 31, 2010  Cloudy and overcast, about freezing early in the morning,  getting warmer.  It has taken ten days to reach the point where we have a total of 11.  Several years ago, I was able to count 100 cankerworms a day right around Christmas time, DEC 25.  Both the numbers and the timing of emergence have changed.

CW 3  Total 11

December 30, 2010
CW 2 Total 8

December 29, 2010
CW 0  Total 6

December 28, 2010
23 degrees in AM.  I have been out of town and checked the trap yesterday in the late afternoon after I arrived home and there were no females trapped.  I went out this morning about 10:00 AM and still no new worms.  With the 4 inches of snow we had and the ground still having lots of snow and ice on it since the snow on the December 26, I am not surprised that the worms did not crawl up the tree.  The weather is clear and windy.

I checked the trap again around 3:30 PM and found 1 cankerworm.  
CW none Total 6

December 27, 2010
CW none Total 5

December 26, 2010
CW none Total 5

December 25, 2010
CW none Total 5

December 24, 2010
Checked the trap early today and there were no cankerworms on it.  The migration is starting off very slowly.  I have checked a number of other traps and have not seen any cankerworms on those traps.  I think it will be a slow year in this section of town.
Low Temperature early is 26 degrees.
CW none Total 5

December 23, 2010
Low     CW none Total 5

December 22, 2010 
Low 40 high 59  CW none  Total 5

December 21, 2010
CW count 3 total 5 
It was pretty mild today and got up to close to 60 degrees.  I checked late this afternoon and there was one additional cankerworm on the trap. I found 2 this morning. I will not count again until tomorrow.  The worms always come up the tree on the sunny side of the trunk when they first start their migration.  As the season advances, they come up all around the tree but tend to taper off on the sunny side.

December 20, 2010
Low 46- high 50   I suppose you could say they have started.  I checked the trap this morning and there was no cankerworms.  This afternoon at 5:00 I found one female cankerworm just on the Tanglefoot on the lower part of the trap.  I doubt she will blow off like the one on Sunday.  It has been overcast which holds in the heat.  That is why there is such a small difference between high and low temperatures.
CW count 1 total 2

December 20, 2010
I saw no cankerworm activity in the early morning.  Even the cankerworm I saw yesterday did not make it back up the tree. Temperatures today are projected to be from 27 to 45.  In terms of accuracy about temperatures, I take readings at my location which is heavily wooded so it is generally warmer than the official weather report.  From here on out when I list the temperatures they will be from my location.  Some of the preceding temperatures are a mixture of official temperature readings and my readings.

What really matters that the insects do not start moving until we get a hard freeze.

This morning I spoke to David Goforth who is the Cabarrus County Agent.  Cabarrus County is an area close to Charlotte that was badly hit last year by the cankerworms.  David tells me that the infestations were very bad on Robinson Church Road south of Highway 49.  Also heavy infestations along Irish Buffalo Creek and 3 Mile Creek.  I observed lots of totally defoliated trees as I was driving down I 85 in the vicinity of The Bass Pro Shop at Concord Mills.  We both suspect that the heavy infestation is quite a bit larger than just those areas.  Prior to 2009, there was not much activity in the Cabarrus County area.  CW none total 1

December 19, 2010   (Today is highlighted because it is the first day seeing the female cankerworms.)
Sunday afternoon I walked across the street past the tree that I have banded to capture cankerworms.  I saw one loan fat female crawling up the tarpaper and about an inch from the Tanglefoot.  I cam back thirty minutes later and the wind must have blown her off the trap.  I suspect we will now start seeing more insects.  Temperatures today are projected to be  29 - 46.  CW count 1, total 1      I plan to post this information after each day until the worms quit moving up the tree)

December 18, 2010 Saturday
No activity today.  Temperatures were 24.1 -46.

December 17, 2010
Temperature 34 degrees at 8:00 AM.  I am only recording temperatures until the cankerworms emerge.  I am trying to establish a relationship between temperature and the crawling insects.  So far there is no evidence of any cankerworms.  I usually check the traps mid day.  On the 15th the ground was frozen pretty hard since it had been 15 degrees colder than normal.  We had very few cankerworms last year in this neighborhoods.  Maybe there will be none.  In checking my trap today I pulled two leaves from the Tanglefoot.  My willow oaks have very few leaves still up in the branches but had I slathered Tanglefoot in a 6 inch band instead of 1.5 inches I would have had to pull a lot more leaves out of the trap.  Also by initially treated just one tree I have saved time, materials, and money.

If we end up with a significant attack I will band the other five willow oaks I have with a 6 in band

December 16, 2010
Today is a really nasty one.  Early in the morning there is a thin sheet of ice on the ground although the local roads are not icy.  It has been misty all day, but it looks like the temperature will be about 40 degrees in the evening.  This morning early, it was right at freezing at 32 degrees.  It has been slowing rising all day.  There were no cankerworms.

December 15, 2010
Today’s temperature low of 18.1 degrees F. was about 7:30 am.  This temperature was recorded at my home which as I stated is often 3 to 4 degrees higher than the Charlotte Douglas Airport.  Today’s recorded temperature for this morning is 15 degrees.
I checked my trap at about 10:00 AM and did not find any cankerworms.  This cold snap started started in earnest on Monday so we have had three days of abnormally cold temperatures.  Mid day yesterday, it barely got up above 30 degrees.  I took a bicycle ride in mid afternoon and it was pretty cold.

December 13, 2010
Its been over a week since we saw that cold snap, and I had to go out of town for three days.  I expected that I would see some worms when I got back.  From past experience I have observed that it takes about 3 days of temperatures in the low 30’s or high 20’ to get the worms moving.  It also seems that they are later than in some of the earlier years.  We originally told people that the first hard frost would be about Thanksgiving.   That has changed.  It was reported to be about 16 degrees this morning, and will was about 32 degrees yesterday.  Tomorrow it should be 15 or so.  One other thing concerning temperature.  I live in town near Freedom Park.  With all of our tree cover we are quite often 3 or 4 degrees warmer than the official report from the Air Port.  The trees hold in the heat and the branches slow the wind down, all of which makes for temperatures a little higher than the official report.  I don’t think this difference affects the cankerworms because when they start emerging from the soil, I think they do so all over the city.
           We will see them soon enough.

December 6, 2010
I believe we will be seeing the first cankerworms very soon.  In the last few years the worms have started crawling about December 17th.  It is supposed to be around 18 degrees F tomorrow morning which in my book is a hard freeze.  At first we will see one or two worms for several days and then there will be a constant pickup.  In the past I have said that around Christmas they would be peaking. I have noticed that the last few years the worms have been later each year.  Is this a sign of global warming?   It will be interesting to watch.

There is one page you can look at that deals with the counting of the worms over several years.  You might have some trouble understanding the chart because I made it for my reference.  If you look at it, the red numbers on the chart are the numbers of female cankerworms caught on that particular day.  During some of the earlier years I did not tabulate things the same way so there are no red numbers.  At the bottom of the page I show the total count for the month.  I will revise this chart so it makes more sense, but if you want to look at it, go to Count

December 4, 2010
The weather report indicates that we will have some pretty cold weather coming in this coming week.  I will be putting up the tar paper for my single band on one of several willow oaks today which is Saturday.  I will also put a small strip of Tanglefoot on the band.  The reason for not putting a larger amount of Tanglefoot on the band of Tar Paper is that some of the leaves are still up in the trees and they clog up the Tanglefoot when they drop.  Secondly, I will be watching pretty carefully for the first sign of female cankerworms crawling up the trunk.  If there appear to be numerous insects, I will apply more Tanglefoot and also band my other trees.  If you want more details on the entire process you might click on the the Cankerworm 2007/2008 link

November 27,2010
We have not seen any cold weather yet but it should be here soon.  I will be posting as soon as I have something to report.

November 1, 2010
I usually get asked what will the cankerworms do this season.  I believe it is too early to tell.  They will not emerge to start crawling up the trees until the first hard frost which is usually around Thanksgiving.  I saw very little activity in the Myers Park and surrounding neighborhoods of Charlotte last year (fall 2009).

There was a lot of activity along I 85 toward Concord, and I suspect that these will be hot spots this year

November 1, 2010
The other day I got a flyer in the mail from a company that wants you to do business with them.  Since that time I have seen their signs up.

My biggest problem with the advertising is that the implication is that this is an all out war and certain neighborhoods need to all band together.  I do not think every tree or certain species needs to be banded.  If there is a heavy infestation then maybe so.  Remember these insects have been around for a long time.  They do some damage, but in my opinion a minor infestation does not do much harm here in the south.  If a tree is old and declining then any infestation would be a problem.

We have a very long growing season and even after an infestation when the leaves come out, our trees still have as many more months to grow than those same trees that grow up north.  We gain about a month in the spring and a month in the fall.  I sympathize with the companies that band trees because it all comes in a rush.  However, since I have a choice, I only band one tree and see what the season will be like.  If, when they first start crawling I see lots of female cankerworms moving  up the trunk then I will band my other trees.  Last year there were hardly any cankerworms, so I only banded one of four trees. (one of my trees died and in earlier comments I mentioned that I had five willow oaks..) The canopies of all my willow oaks look fine this year.

So if you have choice, see what the cankerworm season brings us.  I believe you will find out that the companies that do this sort of thing will have the man power to get to your trees protected in time.

 Back to the subject of advertising, I have seen some of the trees this company is banding and they are using a black plastic which they put up early and plan to apply the sticky material later in the season.   That is a good idea and they say they are using Tanglefoot since I have seen banding in the past with other materials which I do not believe work as effectively as Tanglefoot.  So far what they are advocating about their method of banding is good.

I take issue with some of the facts they have in their literature.

One is that this company implies that we will have tremendous numbers of cankerworms in Myers Park and four other adjacent neighborhoods. (This proved not to be true as infestations in Charlotte were very low.)  I don’t think that what this company predicted can be based on last years infestation.  Does this mean the worms will not infest other areas or is it just the only area they choose to work in.  What about the other areas of town.  The worst infestation in town last year was over near the Cabarrus county line.

On a technical note, from my experience I find that the cankerworms emerge from the eggs in very early April, and on some years I have seen them out on March 30th.  I doubt that they are ever out as late as “early May” as stated in the advertisement.

Below is listing of the various pages from previous years if you care to see the details.