Tree Banding – Protect your Trees from Pests

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • December 13, 2016

What’s Up With All These Bags On The Trees?

While driving around the neighborhood you might have seen what looks like trash bags/saran wrap around trees. What you might not know though is that these wraps are saving your trees’ lives.

What is tree banding?

Tree bands work by trapping wingless cankerworm moths, preventing them from climbing up to the branches and eating leaves or laying eggs.

Homeowners can help control the population by banding their trees. Banding trees can prevent the cankerworm population from increasing to an unmanageable level.

This process typically happens in November and December and can be removed in early February.

Why do we do it?

The primary purpose of tree banding is to prevent damage from cankerworms, a species of inch-worm caterpillar that eat the leaves off of trees in the spring, weakening and potentially killing the trees.

In most cases, the cankerworm will not kill the trees; however, repeated defoliation can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to other stresses, such as age, drought, other insects, and disease.

For the past 30 years, the cankerworm population in Charlotte has continued to grow for reasons unknown to entomologists. However, the Queen City’s large concentration of old willow oaks may promote the infestation.

How To Band A Tree

1. Wrap a strip of cotton or insulation around the tree at least three feet from the ground and below the lowest limb.

2. Position a band of roofing felt over the strip and attach it to the trees with a staple gun. (Avoid using staples on small, young or thin-barked trees – instead use electrical tape to hold the bands.)

3. Using disposable gloves and a putty knife, put a film of Tanglefoot glue directly on the band, approximately 1/8? thick. In order to be effective, all trees need to be banded. The worms feed on all types of trees. Large trees (taller than a two-story house) are the main focus of banding.

4. The glue should be applied after most of the leaves have fallen. If the trap becomes clogged with leaves or insects, clean and renew the Tanglefoot or install a new trap.

So, next time you’re driving through the neighborhood and see some of those ugly tree bands, think about what the neighborhood would look like without any trees to band. We’re truly lucky to live in such a pretty city and we owe it to the trees to protect them!

For more helpful landscape tips, download our Killingsworth Workbook: Lawn Care Tips, Tricks, and Checklists!

What'd You Think?