urgent question on hollies

Asked June 22, 2018, 7:37 AM EDT

Just noticed one of my holly trees has some sort of infestation at the top that looks somewhat like a tent caterpillar and it appears to be causing some leaf damage as well. Should I take any interventions and if so what?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

This is the webbing of fall webworm. There is a spring-summer generation and a fall generation. This year the spring one is larger than usual, but it is a native insect and has limited impact on plants, plus it is a great source of food for wildlife. We recommend leaving it alone or breaking it up to let the birds eat the caterpillars, but since there are so many, you might want to hand remove them or prune them out. Here is more about them: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/fall-webworm-trees