What are Tree Bands and Why are They Necessary?

What are Tree Bands and Why are They Necessary?
on April 23, 2018 in Tree Banding

Charlotte has a unique identity because of its trees. Right from the Sycamores to the majestic old willow oaks, trees have become a signature feature of the city. However, several residents in the city have observed the beautiful trees being encircled with not so good-looking tree bands, especially during the winter season. A lot of them fail to understand the reason.

Let’s begin with understanding what exactly are tree bands and why are they so important?

The ugly tree bands are vital as they help in preventing trees from a deadly insect called “the fall cankerworm.” The tiny, just about an inch-long caterpillar is a native in the eastern side of North America and is also spotted down south until Texas. Even though the outbreaks of cankerworms are more commonly found in the Northern States, Charlotte has often been a victim, invaded with a large number of these pests for certain unknown reasons. As a solution to the fall cankerworm infestations, Charlotte’s city government introduced tree banding in the year 1990.

How does the tiny caterpillar damage huge trees?

Unbelievable but true, a small cankerworm infestation can be devastating. When the cankerworms break the eggs and come to new life during early spring, they begin to feed insatiably on new leaves and buds. The majority of the trees are not affected fatally due to this binge eating and tend to regrow leaves and buds in the same season. However, trees recuperating from this infestation tend to go weak and are more prone to other threats.

How does the tree band formula help?

The fall cankerworm is nothing but a wingless moth. As a part of reproduction, the adult moths need to climb up the tree trunk from the cocoons on the ground to lay eggs on the highest branches. Banding trees from the month of November until February proves to be helpful, as these bands restrict female cankerworms from reaching the heights needed to lay eggs and saves the tree from falling prey to young caterpillars out of the eggs.

We understand tree bands bring down the curb appeal of the tree. But as passionate tree care experts, we appreciate the tree band initiative taken by the city government, to save trees.

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