What is it?

Asked August 19, 2016, 3:12 PM EDT

We have something going from tree to tree here in Charleston SC. It looks like a very silky spider web and adheres mostly to the trunk and branches of a medium oak and then now has passed to the branches of a crepe myrtle and a river birch. What is it and what do we do about it?


Charleston County South Carolina trees and shrubs plant diagnostics

1 Response

I believe you have Psocids sometimes called Tree Cattle. Many people notice fine silken webbing on the trunks and branches of their trees during the warm summer months. The assumption is that this is a problem but the insects that cause this webbing are not harmful to trees. They could even be considered beneficial. The tiny insects that make the webbing are called psocids (pronounced so-cids). They have numerous common names including tree cattle and bark lice. Basically, they feed on lichen, moss, algae, fungi, spores, pollen and possibly the remains of other insects found on the tree’s bark. As a result are sometimes referred to as bark cleaners. A