caterpillars on maple trunk in upstate NY

lalalaJuly 6, 2014

I am visiting someone in upstate NY...can anyone tell me what caterpillar would infest the trunk of a maple tree at this time of year? The leaves look fine. It is a hairy caterpillar that camouflages well against the trunk (has brown/black/gray coloring). I saw several crawling up the tree, and a few dead ones. It looks like they might be living under the bark.


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lalala, it is impressive that you have taken the time and made the effort to find an answer - during a social? trip.
This best I can do is This Link.
Hope it helps.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:34AM
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Maybe, possibly Carpenterworms"

Here is a link that might be useful: carpenterworms

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 7:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

post a pic???

consider.. they may be using the tree as a roost [for lack of a better word] ... as you seem to indicate.. they are already maturing ...

you might get the answer direct.. by calling the local county extension office on monday ... they may.. offhand.. know what around ...


    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Thanks everyone! Here is a picture of a caterpillar. There is some evidence of possible boring (see next post for that picture) but the caterpillars don't look like carpenter worms.

Ronalawn, gotta keep busy somehow while visiting the in laws!! They were worried about their tree so I thought I'd try to get the answer.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Here is what looks like boring holes with sap leaking out. Maybe they have carpenter worms and the hairy caterpillars are unrelated?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Lala, ken offered some excellent advice. Have your friend call or email the local Cornell Extension office and ask what it might be.

I haven't seen a gypsy moth caterpillar in about 45 years but that's the first thing I think of when I saw your picture. They hatch from egg masses on the trunk and then move up to the foliage.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:35PM
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