We live in a world that is home to a wide variety of species that inhabits the land, air, and water. And because we share the same space most of the time, we must learn to coexist, albeit not always peacefully. Survival of the fittest and struggle for existence had always been the mantra in the wild.
Most insects live on and around trees. You can see it everywhere when you go out and commune with nature. However, there are also relationships that aren’t as talked about but are plenty in nature. Some may be symbiotic while most are parasitic in nature. For instance, insects living in trees and feeding on it can mean death for the latter. Fungi also can be dangerous.
A sparse forest is a common sight for this time of year. But in Mendon, the woods are looking more skeletal than usual.
“This tree died two years ago,” Rutland City Forester Dave Schneider noted.
The tree is a red pine. And despite its name, it’s a little more rustic red than usual. Schneider says the color and lack of limbs are a sign of a devastating disease.
“The branches turn orange, the needles turn orange and then die,” Schneider said.
The trees are being attacked by an invasive insect called a red pine scale.
“The insect doesn’t actually harm the tree that badly but it carries a fungus very similar to the Dutch elm disease,” said Jeffrey Wennberg, commissioner of Rutland City Public Works.
About 100,000 trees are expected to be removed but the disease doesn’t make them unprofitable. Schneider says almost all the trees will be sold.
“These trees aren’t the most valuable in the forest but they do have certain markets for, particularly with the utility pole market,” Schneider said.
It is disheartening to see big trees like pines go down because of a mere insect infestation especially when you have to cut them in their prime. However, when the infestation has been too much and several trees have been affected, cutting it down must be done to prevent the infestation from spreading, albeit with a heavy heart. These trees should also be treated to kill the insects before they get the chance to move to the next nearby tree.
A deadly insect that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees across the East, a scourge that makes the cankerworm look pleasant, is edging toward Charlotte.
The emerald ash borer is an Asian beetle that was first spotted in North Carolina in 2013, in three counties near the Virginia line. The bug has invaded most eastern states, including Virginia and Tennessee, since it was first detected in the U.S. in 2002.
Experts compare the beetle’s lethal potential to the blight that wiped out chestnut trees a century ago and to the insect that is now steadily killing hemlocks across the Southern Appalachian mountains.
All over the world, trees are always threatened by insect infestation. While we don’t usually hear it over the news, countless trees succumb to these little critters day in and day out. Some trees actually have some sort of defense system in place against insects like sap or releases toxins that are hard for the insects to digest. But despite the tree’s best effort, insects are still out to get them.
If you’re an ash tree, here’s some friendly advice.
Get out of town. Fast.
An Asian beetle is munching its way across the Northeast and it’s only a matter of time before it stops in Morristown for a bite, town Forester Richard Wolowicz told the town council on Tuesday.
The Emerald Ash Borer spells certain doom for ash trees: Nearly all of America’s estimated 7.5 billion ash trees will die as this pest advances, according to Wolowicz. Already, an estimated 50 million of these trees have been killed in the Northeast.
By comparison, Dutch Elm Disease took an estimated 75- to 100 million elm trees in the U.S.
Humans can be harmed, too — by branches falling from ash trees that become brittle after the Emerald Ash Borer kills them, the forester said.
Trees are an essential part of our natural ecosystem, so are insects. And the majority of insects happen to be herbivores. Unfortunately, insect infestations can not only damage trees but eventually kill them despite their innate natural defenses. We need trees for fresh air but insects also do play a part in life. Whenever possible, always be on the watch out for the presence of insects in your area especially if you have trees at home. A sudden growth in the insect population can mean the end for certain tree species.
For diseased trees that have been overpowered by insects, the only recourse for them is to have them cut down by professional tree removal services. https://www.allcleartree.com/trimming can help you spruce up these trees and be assured that it will be done professionally. While some homeowners would rather tackle this task themselves to save money, you’d realize it would have been easier, safer and more practical to hire a pro to do this than do it yourself because of the risks involved, especially in the presence of infesting insects that can spread to other plants and trees if not taken cared of properly.