Insect killing my japanese maple?

bp_968August 19, 2009

First post. I have a pretty lace leaf japanese maple that has been having major problems for the past 10-12 weeks. At first I thought it was leaf burn and just didnt know what to do about it (none of the normal conditions for leaf scorch seemed to fit).

Today I noticed that alot of the leaves seemed to be bunched up in vertical hanging pods and then I noticed one of the pods moving around. It looks like some sort of worm.

Any idea what this is? I'll post some photos as well:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bp_968/3836672089/sizes/l/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bp_968/3837460136/sizes/l/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bp_968/3836668917/sizes/l/

For now I'm going to get a bucket and clippers and pull all of the little "pods" off tonight and have a fire. (evil grin)

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Great images of a nasty leaf-eating pest -- bagworms.

Kill all you find. Stomp 'em

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 2:10PM
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bp_968

Thanks for the info! I did some looking up online and it looks like picking them off is a reasonable method of control. I guess that being the only tree in about 80 feet it got swarmed.

From the photos do you think I should be worried about it dying? They have probably destroyed 60% or more of the foliage. I'm going to keep watching it and this winter make sure I didn't leave any silk to "girdle" it and I guess spray the area in the spring.

I pulled them all off (filled a 20 ounce cup with them) and then put them between two pieces of cardboard and ran them over with my car (235 width tires. heh) and then to make double sure I set them on fire (old boy scout habit I guess). lol

I love my Japanese maples. Stupid bugs.

Ben

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 3:33PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You asked "From the photos do you think I should be worried about it dying? They have probably destroyed 60% or more of the foliage. "

One thing the tree has in its favor is that the leaves would drop normally soon. So the tree's likely to be okay.

As for spraying for the bagworms, someone else can give appropriate advice. (We don't have those things hereabouts.)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 4:08PM
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