CHARLOTTE: Drive around Charlotte, NC this time of year and you may see people wrapping black tape around their trees. What you say? So did I the first year we moved into our neighborhood of Commonwealth park. Filled with huge majestic and champion oak trees, like many of the close to Uptown neighborhoods like myers Park, Midwood and Elizabeth, and even Southpark... this is a beautiful area.
The first Spring we came out of the house one day and saw a few green worms dropping from the trees in our yard. The next day their were a few more. In the days that followed we began to think we were living in a horror movie!!! Little green worms dropped from the trees by the thousands, maybe even millions! They created webs of writhing cranker worms hanging from the trees, covering the ground, the house, the cars. They got on us as we ran to car! They ate every leaf on every plant in every yard in the neighborhood. Talk about your plaque of locusts! Locust got nothin' on these guys!
That year the city decided to spend over one million dollars to have the close in neighborhoods in whole city sprayed and destroyed the little devils. What a blessed relief! But we can never forget and so anyone who has lived through this knows to wrap their trees with "tanglefoot".
You see, there is a moth that makes its way up the trunks of certain trees and lays its eggs in the bark. Come spring the little monsters emerge from the eggs...and eat every green thing in sight. They can defoliate an entire 10 year old oak tree in a matter of days. Some trees are so stressed by it that they can die.
Tree wrapping is tape covered with sticky sunstance that is fitted to the tree. Since the moths are flightless, they are required to crawl up the trunk in order to lay their eggs. The band is designed to force the bug to crawl over the band and gets caught int he sticky Tabglefoot. When applied in a timely manner it is extremely effective in stopping the moths in their tracks.
So if you see the neighbors out there banding trees you can feel good about the neighbors, but personally I would get out and band every tree on the block!