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Friday, September 13, 2013

Locust "plague" in Columbia

        If you live in the Columbia area you have seen the nests of Mimosa Webworms in the Honey Locust trees that are common in our area.  These trees are popular with builders because they grow quickly.  But they seem to have also provided a great breeding ground for these nasty worms.  If you have one near your house you know how messy they can be.  The following is some information I found on the worms:

"Mimosa webworms overwinter as pupae protected in cocoons. They can be found under the scaly plates of bark found on honeylocusts, or in fallen leaves under the tree.  Silvery gray adult moths hatch out in June and lay eggs on flowers and foliage of host trees. The eggs generally hatch in mid- to late June. The larvae web leaflets together and feed on the foliage protected by the web. The larvae usually feed in large groups, and enlarge the nest as needed to encompass more foliage for food. I have seen entire trees enmeshed by these webs. A second generation hatches out in August. If you control the first generation successfully, the second should cause little damage."

      Unfortunately these trees also seem to have many dying branches that become covered with Lichens.

   These Lichens grow on dead branches which seems to be common on the trees in our community.  Below are just some on my street.

    Many of these trees are on County property but they seem reluctant to take these trees down until they are completely dead.  I had someone from the County look at the trees in my area and they only assessed the one below to be dead enough to take down some time next year.

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