Summer breeze, bugs and our trees

By: From the N.C. Forest Service

From the N.C. Forest Service

Summer, the most loved season of the year. That time when you can put your toes in the sand and enjoy a cool dip in the ocean or a pool, eat lunch under a shade tree and enjoy the summer breeze, nap in hammock with the wind blowing off the water — yes, summer truly is a loved season.

With all the wonderful things that come with summer, there are also a few unwelcome guests that like to tag along. These guests can cause harm to our trees and damage them beyond repair. So, we need to be aware of the signs and symptoms that come with these insects. These symptoms include:

• Defoliation — loss of leaves during growing season

• Discoloration — leaves changing to fall colors during growing season

• Pitch tubes — white reddish balls on the sides of pine trees, resin flowing out of tree from beetle feeding (boring beetles)

• Galls — ball-like structures formed on branches or backs of leaves

These symptoms are dead giveaways to stressed trees that have an infestation. When you find trees with these issues, the next step is to try to find a sign that can give you an idea about the source of the tree’s problem. Some of these signs will be:

• Insects — body divided into three parts, with three pairs of legs

• Galleries — tunnels under the bark of a tree made by insects for feeding or reproduction

• Entrance holes — usually found where pitch tubes are located

• Tents/Webbing — formed on the tips of branches, or where the branch and the trunk come together

• Frass — insect excrement, usually found hanging from branches or around the base of a tree

Keep an eye out for these symptoms and signs. Our tress are important for shade and helping that cool summer breeze make summer that much more enjoyable. If you find these issues and would like a professional opinion or have any questions, feel free to call or email the North Carolina Forest Service at the county office 910-592-4515,