oak tree dropping little green pellets #478613 - Ask Extension

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oak tree dropping little green pellets #478613

Asked August 16, 2018, 10:52 AM EDT

Hi. I have a 30 year old oak tree that is dropping thousands of little green pellets. When the pellets get wet, they swell into 1/2" long mushy messes. The oak has never done this before. What's up? Thanks!

Howard County Maryland

Expert Response

Would you be able to send us photos of the green pellets you're seeing? You can attach up to three photos to this reply. We'd be happy to take a look at what you're dealing with.

ckc
Here are the requested photos. Thanks.
The Question Asker Replied August 24, 2018, 10:01 AM EDT
What you are seeing there is technically called "frass", but in layman terms, it's caterpillar poop!

It could be from the Orangestriped Oakworm, likely in large numbers this year.
You probably haven't seen it before because they don't necessarily show up again.
Here is an N.C. Extension page about them:
http://ecoipm.org/2015/08/04/orangestriped-oakworms-a-great-case-study-of-landscape-ipm/
and here is the page from the Maryland Biodiversity website with photos of the moth it turns into: https://marylandbiodiversity.com/viewSpecies.php?species=340



cm
Thanks!!
The Question Asker Replied August 24, 2018, 12:19 PM EDT
You're welcome!

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