NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — I begin this story with a surprising truth; the hackberry tree – which can be found in 2 varieties – is extremely common in North Texas. The tree is infamously discovered along stretches of powerlines, where birds consume the seeds off the tree and “distribute” them later where they rest up until the time is best for growing.
With such an effective distribution program utilizing the birds’ complimentary labor, hackberries are found practically in every image of trees in North Texas. They make up a remarkable 20% of the overall canopy; about one in 5 trees is a hackberry.When things go bad for
hackberries, it is not something that can easily conceal from us. There is a specific pest that assaults the trees during the warm season, late spring and on, called the hackberry leafroller.The hackberry leafroller is a little green worm that looks like a tiny inchworm. It nests in the tree’s branches and eats the leaves. When they get fat enough, they spin silk drop lines and drop
to the ground. There, they borrow in and wait till the next warm season to emerge as a rather plain looking brown/gray moth. This year, North Texas suffered a significant invasion of leafrollers. The
hot and dry weather condition all summer kept the population at bay, however the abrupt eight or nine inches of rain that soaked us within 24 hr back in the 3rd week of August has actually inspired trees to grow out some brand-new foliage and resulted in a population boom of leafrollers. Even even worse, a number of their natural predators were reduced by the exact same weather leading up to the
huge rain, so the entire summertime population of leaf rollers showed up all at once with really couple of opponents around to keep them in check.There were some locations of the DFW Metroplex absolutely overrun with them. Back in 2015 we suffered a comparable invasion, however that one was largely restricted to the Grapevine location. This break out seemed to span the entire metro. Trees looked like they were passing away, their black sand of excrement also covered everything. Yuck.But here is some good news. Hackberries had all season to develop their winter season sugars needed for inactivity and spring leaf out. Contaminated trees will lose their leaves at the end of the growing season, but they’ll all come back in spring and be simply great. And despite the fact that there was a substantial population explosion
this year, that’s no indicator that portends another big population next year. It is constantly dependent on the weather condition and what trends hold throughout the summertime months.The very same weather pattern caused an explosion of the aphid population throughout our location. Their “honeydew” waste from eating brand-new leaf development layered whole trees, cars, walkways and outdoor furniture in some places.
As frightening as this all was to take a look at, once again, it shouldn’t be much a problem on the trees themselves. Given that the population explosion occurred at the end of the growing season, some rain and cooler temperatures will make all of it
go away.All in all, mainly bark and very little bite. Mostly bark that will not harm the bark of the tree so to speak. Jeff Ray Jeff joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in December 2010. He concerned North Texas from Nashville, where he spent the previous 11 years, most recently as the morning meteorologist at WKRN-TV. His career has actually also taken him to Kansas