something wrong with ash tree

Giovanna_gal(z9TX)July 8, 2005

I live in South Texas near the coast and moved into a house with an ash tree.

It is covered on one of the main branches with fine webs. The webs are only around the branch and are not tent worms. When you scrape away the webs there are hundreds of tiny flea sized bugs underneath. The leaves are spotted with yellow and black dots. I have sprayed with a wide spectrum insecticide but they have come back this year. Any help would be appreciated.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Your insect issue sounds like it could be psocids, commonly called bark lice. (Pronounced So'-sid) If so, they are perfectly harmless to your tree or anything else. They are organic matter eaters.

Ash trees are not particularly happy in warm climates, so there is no accounting for problems associated with leaves, branches, roots, etc., that you may see.

A picture of this webbing would help. Psocid webs are very fine, almost silvery looking. The critters live under that webbing, quite safe from predators and even pesticides.

If you think your tree has some psocids living in it, you should just be glad and not worry about any control. It's a good thing!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 6:52PM
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In Michigan we're getting hit with emerald ash borers but I think they turn the leaves brown... In any event they make small D shaped holes in the bark. If that's what you have there's no hope for the tree, it has to be cut down and you CAN NOT transport the wood out of your county.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 9:53PM
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Thanks for the info, I think it may be borers. My branches are beginning to die and fall with any good gust of wind. I hate to think of chopping down this tree, it's a focal point in the yard and we were actually in the process of putting seating around it. It's also great shade which is the most important thing here in Texas.
Rhizo , it wasn't bark lice, but thanks for giving me hope

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 10:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Well, you may very well have borers, but not the Emerald Ash Borer, which has not been found in Texas yet. So let's not let THAT rumour get started!!!!

Ash trees are prone to all kinds of problems, especially in the south. Did you ever find out what was causing that fine webbing and what those little things were living inside of it?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 12:02AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Ummm. Another opinion.

The webs plus small spotted bugs do sound like psocids.

And it *is* possible that you have a 2nd problem which is causing the dead/dropped branhces.

If the tree is important to you, I suggest you have a certified arborist examine the tree and give an opinion.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 12:35AM
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Much thanks to everyone for their opinion, we are having an arborist come out and give us a verdict...or maybe verdict(s). Thanks again!!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 12:53AM
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Please let us know what they found... I'd be interested in knowing if there's anything else I have to watch out for on my ash tree...


    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 11:55PM
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We have 8 large (20yr old) Ash trees on our property. Its spring time here in south Texas and the leaves have started popping, however we now have a very large infestation of small white worms over everthing. They are falling off the trees like crazy and we have also noticed the new leaves look like they may have been lunch for these pesky crawly things. Help what can we do. Never had this problem before. Not even the chickens can keep up with these guys.
Thanks for any help.
J. Mathes

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 5:49PM
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We have several ash trees on our property. Over the last few years some, but not all develop green clusters of what looks like green balls or underdeveloped leaf clusters. It doesn't seem to affect the health of the tree just looks bad. In winter these clusters turn brown and dry out but not all fall off tree. Is there anything that can be done to correct this?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:24PM
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We're not sure what type of ash tree we have, but we're pretty sure it's an ash, and one year after a Texas drought, we noticed it didn't want to grow back properly. Now it has only about 1/3 of it that makes leaves, and the rest of it is dead. We were cutting off dead branches when we noticed tiny round holes in the outer layers of bark, and then when we cut the larger branches down, we noticed that they were hollow in the middle (a hole in the very center of the branch about as big as a small nail head). Does anyone have experience with this kind of pest? We thought the tree was dying from drought, but if it's a bug, what can we do about it?

Here is a link that might be useful: All Things Worthy

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 6:49PM
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There are at least 8 holes the size of a dime throughout the trunk and some of the limbs. I also see a lot of "sawdust" around the base of the tree. have never seen any insects on it. Any idea? Any hope for the tree?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 11:08PM
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