Gypsy moths

Discussion in 'Maples' started by debviolet, May 21, 2018.

  1. debviolet

    debviolet Active Member 10 Years

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    amherst, ma usa
    Hi all!

    After what seems like decades, voracious gypsy moth caterpillars have made a dramatic reappearance in my western Massachusetts zone 5b garden.

    Two days ago, they confined themselves to the shirasawarums--I handpicked about 50 off just one 2.5 foot Autumn Moon. Now its leaves have gone very lax despite plenty of water.
    Could this be the tree's reaction to the attack?

    Today, I found the caterpillars on many of my palmatum and also on fothergilla and small leaved rhodies and azalea.

    They are decimating my garden.

    I have begun spraying bt. Is there anything else I can do?

  2. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Euclid, OH USA
    Autumn moon is prone to maple petiole bore. The leaves will appear limp, look at the leaf stalk or petiole for black little bumps under the surface or carefully cut the stalk open with a razor blade to see if it's hollow in the middle.

    Note that Autumn moon new leaves appear limp before they fully open.

    The good news is maples will produce a second set of buds and leaf out again.

    A couple of my maples get attacked each spring. The sparrows eat evey bud! The trees would leaf out eventually, but became weak and sparse after several years of repeated attack. The best thing I ever did was to start using PHC Roots. (Don't cheap out and buy anything else) This is perfect for stressed trees or healthy trees, and especially dwarf Japanese maples.

    It's all organic and most importantly it has rhizobacteria that benefits maples in several ways. (Tree can use to restore health, sugars, and energy reserves whereas other fertilizers force growth and use up sugar to turn fertilizer into a usable form. Increase root growth, promote back budding and fullness of canopy. Increases resistance to pest and infections by strengthening cell walls. Improved and longer lasting spring and fall colors. Improves efficiency of roots to take up nutrients and be more drought resistant and cold hardy.) I speak from personal experience and do not benefit in any way from my recommendation. I provided a link because Great garden supply currently offers best price and free shipping.

    The proof or science behind claims:

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are known to influence the growth, development, and yield of crops either directly or indirectly through various mechanisms. Direct effects include production of plant hormones such as auxins, gibberellins and cytokinins, supplying biologically fixed nitrogen or solubilizing insoluble phosphates. Indirect mechanisms include suppression of bacterial, fungal and nematode pathogens by production of siderophores, HCN, ammonia, antibiotics, volatile metabolites etc., by induced systemic resistance and by competing with the pathogen for nutrients or for colonization of space [23]. Bacillus species are a major component of the heterotrophic soil microflora and are known to influence plant growth through production of auxins [24] and gibberellins [25]. B. subtilisisolated from cowdung exhibited biocontrol activity against plant pathogenic fungi Fusarium oxysporum and Botryodiplodia theobromae and the strain also promoted root elongation in seedlings of Cicer arietinum up to 70–74 % as compared to untreated seeds [6]. Further screening of desirable attributes of plant growth promoting organisms from biodynamic preparations would include stability and good survival in soil.
    Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria from Cow Dung Based Biodynamic Preparations/

    Bacillus subtillus
    Bacillus subtilis is bacteria found in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants and humans.
    Bacillus subtilis strains isolated from cowdung have shown a number of beneficial attributes which include
    biocontrol of fungi such as Fusarium and Botryodiplodia
    plant growth promotion through increased root elongation

    sulphur oxidation

    phosphorus solubilisation to increase plant availability

    production of the important enzymes amylase and cellulase.

    Bacillus licheniformis
    Bacillus licheniformis is known for its ability to survive and proliferate in extreme environments, including high temperature and waterlogged conditions.
    Bacillus licheniformis has been shown to have a number of beneficial attributes which include
    The production of antibiotics such as bacillomycin, bacitracin, licheniformin and proticin,
    The production of antifungal compounds having specific activity against Fusarium

    Increasing the rate of decomposition of organic matter when present in sufficient quantities.

    Bacillus pumilis
    Similarly to others of the Bacillus spp., B. pumilus spores generally show high resistance to environmental stresses, including UV light exposure, desiccation, and the presence of oxidizers such as hydrogen peroxide and high salt levels.
    Naturally occurring and widely distributed in both plants and animals. Growth of the bacterium on plant roots prevents Rhizoctonia and Fusarium spores from germinating and as such is an important active ingredient in agricultural fungicides.
    Bacillus polymyxa
    Bacillus polymyxa has been shown to promote plant growth through a number of mechanisms.
    Through the production of hormones like cytokinins, auxins, ethylene and gibberellins which increase root expansion and plant growth.
    Through the production of antibiotics and antifungal compounds and forming biofilms on plant roots – for example, the biofilm formed on tomato roots protects the plant from bacterial wilt

    The bacterium's nitrogen fixing ability (ammonia NH3) that is usable by plants from atmospheric N2 helps to promote growth of the plant

    The production of an exopolysaccaride, which adheres to soil particles and plant roots helps to stabilise and improve soil structure
  3. debviolet

    debviolet Active Member 10 Years

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    amherst, ma usa
    Thank you so much for something different to try, not only for Autumn Moon, but for several of my other maples.

    This year, due to a quite late frost preceded by unusually warm weather for several weeks, maples in the sunnier section of my yard, budded out, then lost everything
    but one branch, which now has leaves.
    The secondary buds never appeared to swell--instead the clearly living branches slowly die. I tried nitrogen after waiting a couple of weeks with no sign of life on those branches and got no visible response. The now pruned back trees may or may not make it now, but I would have loved to try this earlier.
    Live and learn:-)
    I love this forum for the generosity of those on it! Debviolet

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