- Tree Banding Update
- What is the Fall Cankerworm?
- How to Get Supplies
- Banding Timeline and Instructions
- Download a Grid Map (PDF)
- About PMNA Tree Banding
Update: December 7, 2010:
It's time to tanglefoot! The leaves are down and the cold weather is here, so please get the tanglefoot up quickly, before too many cankerworms crawl up those trees. Thank you!
Update: September 8, 2010:
Get ready to band your trees again! Cheap, do-it-yourself material will be available 9 - 12 only October 30 at the Fall Crawl at Midwood Park (sold at cost, $1/ foot, by the neighborhood association). If you can't attend, you can pre-order material by e-mailing Gretchen Carlson Or, you could hire a service or get materials at local hardware stores. We still do need to protect our tree canopy, even though the cankerworm infestation has been ameliorated by the city spraying in 2008. The infestation will return if we are not proactive! Hope to see you at the Fall Crawl!
Tree Banding Update - December 1, 2009
Tell your neighbors; tell your friends; it's time to put the sticky stuff on the tree bands! There is a sweet spot between when the leaves come off of the trees and when the first real cold snap hits, and THIS IS IT! So please get that stuff up soon! Through the winter, if the tanglefoot gets laden with leaves or bugs, re-apply, or pick them off to keep your band effective. And don't forget to take them down in the spring when the weather warms up to protect your trees' bark.
Tanglefoot too stiff to spread? Keep it inside in a warm room several hours before applying, then dash out in the cold to spread it. Some even microwave it! It should be between 1/16" and 1/8" thick on the band.
Didn't get supplies at the Fall Crawl and don't know what to do? Three banding services have made themselves known to the neighborhood. We don't endorse anyone in particular, but you can contact these, as well as any arborist, for quotes:
- Neighbor Steve Barilovits, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Silver Duck Tree Banding Services, email@example.com
- Go Organic, Keith@GoOrganic.com
- War on the Worm, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for protecting our tree canopy from the cantankerous cankerworm!
Fall Cankerworms are extremely destructive caterpillars that hatch from eggs in early spring, about the time tree leaves are unfolding. Cankerworms feed on leaves for three to four weeks, then either crawl or drop to the ground on silken threads and pupate in the soil. Fall cankerworms emerge as adult moths in late fall usually in early December after a hard freeze. The male cankerworms have wings and the females are wingless. The females crawl up tree trunks onto branches, are mated by winged males, and then lay single-layered masses of flower-pot shaped eggs on limbs and trunks.
Tree banding efforts try to catch the wingless females as they crawl up the trees by wrapping a tar paper band covered with a layer of sticky tanglefoot around the trunks of likely cankerworm targets.
Elm, apple, oak and many other fruit and shade trees are normally attacked by cankerworms, although they have been known to eat about anything with leaves during a heavy outbreak. Entire leaves are eaten, leaving only the large veins. Generally most damage occurs about the time the leaves become fully developed. Trees may be completely stripped of foliage, some never having a chance to leaf out.
Please help out and protect your trees! You can band trees yourself or hire a service. If you want to band your own trees, supplies will be available at the Fall Crawl, October 29 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM for just $1 per foot. The materials include everything to band your trees: tanglefoot, tar paper, and cotton batting. For those of you new to the process, our volunteers can help explain how to band your trees.
- New this year: absolutely no treebanding materials will be available after the Fall Crawl! We don't want to turn anyone away who wants to band their trees, so if you cannot make it to the Fall Crawl, please email Leslie Sykes email@example.com to request your materials prior to our Fall Crawl distribution.
- Measure your trees (hardwoods) around so you know the correct amount of material to buy.
- Please bring your plastic shopping bags to the Fall Crawl! We are always in need of bags for people to carry their sticky tanglefoot buckets home, and it's a good way to reuse these bags to help your neighbors.
- Bring an old plastic container for the tanglefoot and a plastic bag to carry the container home.
- Please be a good neighbor -- consider helping elderly and in-need neighbors by banding their trees.
- We hope to have volunteers available to assist neighbors who cannot band their own trees. If you need assistance banding your trees, please contact PMNA, and we will try to accommodate your request.
- We need volunteers! Please consider spending a couple hours of your time to deliver Fall Crawl fliers or distribute treebanding supplies. Please contact Amy Martini at firstname.lastname@example.org or Leslie Sykes at email@example.com.
Treebanding related questions? Please contact Leslie Sykes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: PMNA makes an effort to help out our elderly and indigent neighbors who are unable to band their trees. Please contact your grid captain if you need such assistance.
- Tree bands should go up starting mid November. Although there are different kinds of bands, the most frequently used include a cotton batting layer covered with tar paper. Although cankerworms will eat just about anything during a big outbreak, efforts normally focus on protecting the big Willow Oaks and anything higher than 2 stories.
- Wrap the tree in cotton batting (fold it in half if it is wider than the tar paper) 4-8 feet above the ground, making sure to fill the cracks and crevices of the trunk. Use a few staples to hold it in place.
- Staple the tar paper tightly over the batting, completely covering it. Concentrate on fastening the lower edge flush. Any holes beneath the tar paper will allow a path for the bugs.
- The tanglefoot (the sticky stuff) is applied on top of the bands in late November/early December... prior to real cold weather, but following defoliation of the trees.
- Bands should be monitored throughout winter for build-up of bugs, and may need additional Tanglefoot. Bugs can crawl over their stuck comrades and make it over your band!
- The worms start hatching in late Winter, peaking in late December/early January and continue through February.
- Bands can be removed in early March to prevent damage to the underlying tree trunk. A lot of funky stuff can grow under those bands!
- Late March to late April is the time when the eggs hatch and the damage is done as the trees' leaves begin to grow... and the time when our hard work pays off for the sake of our tree canopy!
About PMNA Tree Banding
Fall is time to get ready for the annual cycle of the cankerworm defense in Plaza Midwood by banding our trees! The goal of tree banding is to help protect our wonderful old oaks from the onslaught of the destructive cankerworm. Thanks to our hard work over the past several years, we have seen significant improvement in our crusade against the cankerworms. In fact, our overall neighborhood education about tree banding has improved to the point where neighbors are banding their own trees with their own supplies. This was one of our original goals for the project.
The PMNA created the annual Fall Crawl Cankerworm Festival in the summer of 2006. Scheduled for the last Saturday in October, the festival is intended to help bring attention to our efforts to stop these pests. Together with the tree banding strategies that have been successful in past years, the neighorhood association is hopeful that we can make even greater strides to protect one of our neighborhood’s most valuable assets. Thanks for your support!