Respecting the past, Building the future

Worms on our trees

This year it seems we have a lot of caterpillars on our trees. They are consuming most of the leaves, and some of our neighbors are concerned.

We reached out to Parks, and were told the following:

The fall webworm is native to our region and the impact of these insects on our urban forest is minimal. The worm rarely causes other than aesthetic damage as trees can recover from defoliation, especially when it occurs toward the end of summer. Chemical treatment on trees is not recommended, as it may not be effective and may harm predators such as squirrels and birds that consume the insect.

It is rare that an infestation continues beyond a single season. The webworms will leave host trees by mid-September to pupate (form cocoons) in the soil, so you may consider raking up the leaf litter and placing fresh mulch in the tree bed as a deterrent.

For more information on webworms and their impact to vegetation, please visit USDA.

If you have other concerns similar to this, never hesitate to ask.


Photo courtesy of Roy Leonard

Avatar for Richard Khuzami

Mr. Khuzami has been a member of Community Board 1 in Astoria, NY for the last 20 years. He sits on the Zoning and parks Committees and is on the Executive Board. Previously, he served as Parks and Culture chair of Community Board 1 for eleven years and also chaired Capital and Expense priority Committee. He is a member of the Queens General Assembly and had been a panelist for grant submissions for the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA). Richard also is an officer of The Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) and President of OANA.

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