Willow Oak problem/infestation? #213318 - Ask Extension

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Willow Oak problem/infestation? #213318

Asked September 19, 2014, 9:11 PM EDT

We have two sixty foot+ Willow Oaks in our front yard near our house.  In the last few years little green inch worms/canker worms? have infested both trees. One tree has what looks like ant hills on several large upper branches.  I don't think these orange powdery "hills" are ants but I don't know what they are. We can't afford to take the trees down and we'd like to get them healthy so they don't fall on the house.  Do you have any idea what this powdery stuff is and how to treat it?  Thank you.

Hanover County Virginia

Expert Response

Cankerworms have been a problem in spots around Virginia for the past several years.  In most instances no control is needed unless the trees are severely or entirely defoliated for multiple years in a row. 

Your orange powdery “hills” could be a couple of things – one possibility is some type of fungus infection; another possibility is infestation by some sort of wood boring insect (wood peckers can find these insects and do damage going after them under the bark). 

I would suggest you arrange to have a certified arborist visit and evaluate your trees.  They will charge a fee for the evaluation and they can give you recommendations for how to manage the problem.  To find a certified arborist for your area, go to www.goodtreecare.com.

Debbie

Debbie Dillion Replied September 24, 2014, 2:57 AM EDT

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