Most Common Tree Pests In North America

As common tree pests munch their way through Northern American plant life, the majority of insect damage to trees is caused by 22 common insect pests! These insects cause enormous economic damage by destroying landscape trees, lumber companies and much more…

Aphids 

Leaf-feeding aphids usually doesn’t damage the tree very much, but large populations can cause leaf changes and stunting of shoots. Aphids produce large quantities of a sticky exudate known as honeydew. This substance turns black with the growth of a sooty mold fungus. Some aphid species inject a toxin into plants, which further negatively changes growth.

Fall Webworm

The fall webworm can be found all over North America! These caterpillars construct massive silk webs and prefer persimmon, sourwood, fruit trees, and willows. The webs are numerous and large when the weather has been warm and wet for extended periods. The fall webworm is known to feed late in the season on nearly 100 different species of trees.

Forest Tent Caterpillar 

The forest tent caterpillar is an insect found throughout North America where hardwoods grow. The caterpillar will consume foliage of most hardwood species but prefers sugar maple, aspen, and oak. Unlike other tent caterpillar species, the larvae of forest tent caterpillars do not make tents, but rather, weave a silky sheet where they lie together during molting.

Hard and Soft Scale Insects

Hard and soft scale insects includes a large number of insects in the subfamily “Sternorrhyncha”. They commonly occur on woody areas, where they infest twigs, branches, leaves, fruits, and damage them by feeding on the phloem with their piercing/sucking mouthparts. Once exposed symptoms include chlorosis or yellowing, premature leaf drop, decreased growth, branch dieback, and plant death.

 

 

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