adtc spotted lanternfly

Beware the Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is one of the newer invasive pests’ intent upon damaging a wide variety of trees, including hardwood and fruit. It was first discovered in 2012. The spotted lanternfly likely arrived as egg sacks on a stone delivery from Asia to Berks County PA. Since then the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) has traveled through much of central and eastern Pennsylvania, into New Jersey and down to Virginia.

Spotted-Lanternfly

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) in all its stages is harmful to both hardwood and fruit trees. The adult uses its piercing-sucking mouthpart to feed on sap from over 70 different plant species. It shows a preference for trees necessary for the lumber industry including maple trees, black walnut, birch, willow, among other trees. It damages trees by feeding on sap which weakens the tree, and the wounds created attracts mold and other insects. When spotted lanternflies feed, they excrete a sugary substance, called honeydew, that encourages the growth of black sooty mold.

This is a pretty and pretty big bug which hops more than flies, referred to as a plant jumper. Prettiness aside, if you see them, do your best to crush them. As they are agile jumpers, this is often harder than it looks. This pest has no natural predators. Praying mantises will eat some as will spiders, but not in large enough numbers.

While the lifespan of an adult Spotted lanternfly is only a year, all cycles of its life are hazardous to trees. While it does not kill the tree, it will weaken it and with enough damage the tree will die.

Damage in trees includes:

Spotted-Lanternfly-Damage
  • Oozing sap
  • Wilting and leaf curling
  • Tree dieback

The Life Cycle of the Spotted Lanternfly and actions you can take:

slf-egg-stages
  • The eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Egg masses are laid on hard surfaces, trees, decks, outdoor equipment, rocks, and the like. It is protected with a mud-like covering. Each egg mass contains 30–50 eggs.

Check all your trees in the fall, as well as all outside woodpiles and stone walls. Egg sacks can be scrapped from trees, stonewalls or wood piles with a putty knife or credit card, placed in a plastic bag with hand sanitizer or alcohol and killed.

SLF-nymphs
  • The Nymphs stages can be hard to see due to their size, ⅛ to ½ inch. The first three stages (instars) are all black with white spots, the last instar stage is red with white dots and black stripes.

Place sticky bands about four feet from the ground and wrap it tightly against the bark of the tree. Make sure to eliminate gaps, so instars cannot crawl under the tape. Secure the wrapped sticky band with staples or pushpins. Replace the tape every other week. ‘Caging’ the tree in wire will prevent songbirds or squirrels from getting stuck to the tape.

SLF-adult
  • SLF adults emerge in July and are active until winter. They are obvious as they are large and very active, particularly at dusk. Adults have black bodies with brightly colored wings. Only the adults can fly. SLF wings are gray with black spots, and the tips of the wings are black with gray veins. Spotted lanternflies are excellent jumpers.

Crush them as you can. Make a game of it with the children, where you see one, there are more. As they have no natural predators, every one killed is a win for your trees.

The host tree for the spotted lanternfly is the Tree of Heaven which is a rapidly growing deciduous tree with pale gray bark, light brown twigs and large pinnately compound leaves, which is a leaf that has leaflets growing from several places along the stalk. It is native to China and was brought to the United States in the late 1700s and was initially used as a shade tree. It is difficult to get rid of due to its aggressive root system, which pushes out native trees, as well as cracking sidewalks.

Calling the tree professionals at Advanced Tree LLC is your best recourse for getting rid of an invasive tree which hosts the invasive Spotted Lanternfly.

june-bugs-feature-image

Can June Bugs Harm My Trees?

What is a June Bug?

The name "June bug" refers to any of the 300 species of beetles that are related to the scarabs familiar from ancient Egyptian iconography. Other common names for the June bug include June Beetle, May Beetle and Japanese Beetle. The common June bug is one-half to five-eighths inches long and can be green, brown or reddish-brown in color. Being beetles, they also sport shiny wing covers, called elytra.

June bugs are best known for causing damage to gardens, lawns, and pastures. They are considered ‘chafers’, meaning they eat vegetation, i.e. leaves, However, in their grub form, they wreak havoc on roots. They will not eat the entire leaf, but over time, plants will be damaged. Their scientific name is Phyllophaga, Greek for leaf eater.) They do not typically cause much damage to trees, however there are at least 6 trees that are known to suffer from June Bug infestations.

Which Trees Are Affected by June Bugs?

Japanese Maple with June Bug Damage

Walnut Trees

Fig Trees

Apricot Trees

Plum Trees

Apple Trees

Japanese Maples & June Bugs

Japanese Maples, on occasion can suffer as much as your leafy garden plants when June Bugs are active. While it's rarely extensive enough to kill the Japanese Maple, it certainly does not lead to a healthy tree, and as these trees are often chosen for their beauty, these pests are problem enough affecting the beauty of your landscape. If you notice June Beetle damage on your Japanese Maple, you are likely noticing dead patches on your lawn as well.

Walnut Trees & June Bugs

While most damage caused by June Bugs is caused by their grubs, adult June Bugs love to snack on Walnut Tree Leaves. They are nocturnal and may be munching away on these leaves each night. If you notice leaf damage on your walnut trees, check in the evening for June Bug Swarms. Again, they are easily treated, and if you have adult June Bugs, you will get baby June bugs (grubs) that will attack your lawn and garden in a big way. Your walnut will likely stand up to some midnight June Bug snacks, but infestations can lead to a compromised tree, leaving it more susceptible to disease.

Fruit Trees & June Bugs

Loving Soft Fruit Trees, the Adult June Bug may swarm your favorite Fig Tree to consume the fruit juice from your figs. They are attracted to ripe fruits - especially if birds have pecked holes in the skin of the fruit. 

They also love plum and apricot trees for the same reason. Apple trees are less susceptible to June Bugs, however, given the opportunity to feast on some apple juice, they won't pass up some free apple juice.

While they aren't likely to kill your tree, no one wants to share their fruit with a beetle. Luckily, June bugs are easy to treat for, especially with an experienced arborist on your side.

june-bug
  • June bugs are nocturnal.
  • They feed from dusk through the evening hours to avoid predators.
  • June bugs derive their name from the fact that adult June bugs emerge from the soil at the end of spring or the beginning of the summer.
  • Late May and early June is mating season. The June bugs have just weeks to reproduce after that, they die.
  • June bugs spend most of their lives underground.
  • The white, grub-like larva of the June bug lives in soil for up to three years.
  • They have an extra set of wings, but they can't fly worth squat. These notoriously lame flyers have two sets of wings. Only one pair provides what scientists call lift.

Although nocturnal, June Bugs are drawn to porch lights and scientists don’t understand why. June bugs that die because of porch light interactions though, provide an important source of food to many animals, including birds.

three-grubs

Females bury their eggs just below the soil surface. Each female buries between 50 and 200 small pearl-like eggs in the soil. After three years of feeding on plant roots, the larvae pupate, emerge as adults in late summer, and then bury themselves again for the winter In spring and early summer, these larva also known as grubs, grow into pupae. Within 3 weeks, these pupae mature into adult June bugs. Your lovely lawn is what draws June Bugs, where the grubs happily chomp away at the roots of your lawn’s grass.

grab_lawn_damage
  • Dead patches of grass
  • Damaged plants
  • Bare patches

All are signs of a ground dwelling June Bug infestation. Overseeding seems to make your lawn less ‘tasty’ to these bugs. Make sure the lawn is well hydrated.

Trees at risk: While the grubs feed on roots, the adults feast on a wide variety of over 300 crops and flowers. They are known to prefer raspberries, grapes, beans, fig, apple, plum, and roses.

Common June bug: The common June bug is primarily found eating the foliage of leafy plants as well as maize, corn, and walnut and oak trees.

Some of the most common types are as follows:

Common June bug (Phyllophaga), discussed above.

Common-June-bug

Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica), this is a slightly smaller variety of June bug at around half an inch in length.

Japanese-beetle

Green fruit beetle (Cotinis nitida) is a large bronze and metallic green beetle that is often seen in June and July flying in low, lazy circles just a few inches above lawns or turf grass. They don't sting or bite and are not dangerous to humans. They use their pincers to break the skin on figs

Green-fruit-beetle

European Chafer (Rhizotrogus majalis), formerly found only in continental Europe, this invasive species is now found at temperate latitudes in North America. The large, white grubs of A.majale feed on the roots of most cool-latitude grasses, both wild and cultivated. This has made the European chafer an enemy of lawns.

European-Chafer

The problem with having grub larvae in your lawn is that other animals are attracted and will tear up your lawn seeking out the grubs. So, June Bugs are trouble from one end of their lives to the other end.

There are some insects that are predators of June bugs, or fruit traps can be set. Only in the cases of severe infestations or a completely dead lawn are insecticides recommended.

Emerald Ash Borer

The Pretty Green Ash Killer: Emerald Ash Borer

What is the Emerald Ash Borer?

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that kills ash trees by destroying the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the tree's bark.

The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a green buprestid or jewel beetle native to north-eastern Asia that feeds on the ash species.

Females lay eggs in bark crevices on ash trees, and larvae feed underneath the bark of ash trees to emerge as adults in one to two years.

Although it has only been in this country since 2002, hitchhiking here by planes and cargo ships, it has decimated millions of ash trees.

Which Trees are at Risk?

The emerald ash borer attacks and kills all North American species of Ash. In NJ, the Ash species mostly at risk are the Green Ash, White Ash, as well as the closely related White Fringetree. Infested Ash Trees in North America generally die within two to three years.

Green Ash Tree

White Ash Tree

White Fringe Tree

Ash Trees are a New Jersey Treasure

Ash trees are an important part of America's urban and rural landscape. They are commonly found on city streets and in windbreaks as well as residential properties. In many areas, ash trees are one of the few trees suitable for planting in urban areas.

Ash wood is also an essential resource, used to make furniture, hardwood floors, baseball bats, tool handles, electric guitars, hockey sticks and other materials that require high strength and resilience.

The Damage Inflicted by the Emerald Ash Borer

Adult beetles are 1/2” long and 1/8” wide, metallic green in color, with a metallic copper red abdomen. The adults feed only on ash foliage, however the more significant damage is caused by their larvae wich feed on the inner bark of the ash tree.

Newly hatched larvae penetrate the tree and feed in the area between the bark and the wood, which is where tree nutrients are transported. The beetle larvae overwinter in the outer portions of wood or bark and pupate in the spring. They have a one- or two-year life cycle completed entirely in association with ash trees. Adults emerge in late spring. They mate, feed and lay eggs, and together, the adult and larvae decimate an ash tree often within 2 years of infestation.

How to Spot an Emerald Ash Borer Problem

The time to deal with an Emerald Ash Borer Infestation is BEFORE you notice it. Trees with noticeable Ash Borer damage can be saved, but due to the rapid spread of the EAB and the susceptibility of Ash Trees to this infestation, it's essential for the survival of our Ash population that we are mindful to monitor our Ash Trees closely. 

If you have Ash Trees on your property, please have the crown inspected regularly by an arborist. (Once/year) Ashes tend to be very large, so we don't recommend climbing up into the tree yourself. An arborist can identify early signs of infestation. The earlier an infestation is noticed, the more likely it is, not only that the tree can be saved, but that the EAB can infestation can be noted with forrestry management, triggering a push to treat any ash trees within a 15 mile radius of the infestation to protect our precious Ash population. 

If you notice any of the following, please schedule an inspection right away:

  • D shaped holes throughout the bark of the tree
  • Woodpecker activity in the tree
  • Reduced Foliage
  • Weak/Dying Branches
  • Epicormic Sprouting (when the tree tries to grow new branches wherever it can... you may see twig sized branche sprouting from the trunk)
  • Splitting Bark/S shaped galleries

Emerald Ash Borer Treatments

While there are four types of treatment for emerald ash borer protection, the first thing is to get your trees inspected, to make sure it is viable for treatment. An ash tree with significant damage needs to be removed. Many will require the more dangerous branches be removed. 

Ash trees with minimal damage or none are the best candidates for treatment. Any Ash with more than 50% loss in foliage is likely beyond saving.

Treatment options include soil injection and trunk injection, delivering the solution into the tree's circulatory system and spreading it throughout the canopy.

These treatments target the larvae tunneling in the tree. Bark spray is used on the bottom 5-6 feet of the tree trunk, and canopyy sprays prevent adult borers from feeding and laying eggs. Controlled and systematic applications are the safest for both your tree and the immediate environment. There are consumer-available treatments, however they are not as effective as those available to professional arborists. 

If you have Ash Trees on your property, please have the crown inspected regularly by an arborist. (Once/year) Ashes tend to be very large, so we don't recommend climbing up into the tree yourself. An arborist can identify early signs of infestation. The earlier an infestation is noticed, the more likely it is, not only that the tree can be saved, but that the EAB can infestation can be noted with forrestry management, triggering a push to treat any ash trees within a 15 mile radius of the infestation to protect our precious Ash population. 

Treatments will have to be applied on a consistent basis - about once/year. For an Ash Tree inspection, call Advanced Tree Care Today! 

(908) 637-8476

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(908) 637-8476

Advanced Tree Care

5 Hope Rd, Great Meadows, NJ 07838

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