|City of Regina Supervisor of Pest Management Wade Morrow demonstrates a tree banding technique on Thursday. Banding helps protect from cankerworms.|
Photograph by: Troy Fleece, Leader-Post, Leader-Post
With the warmer weather arriving, the city is noticing signs of cankerworms and is advising residents to band all elm, Manitoba maple and fruit trees as soon as possible.
"It's time to band," said Wade Morrow, City of Regina supervisor of pest management. The city held a public banding demonstration on Thursday.
"Get out and talk to your neighbours," he added.
"If you're going out and getting all the materials together to band one tree, you might as well band a few.
"It's a good excuse to talk to your neighbours and get some more trees banded in your area."
Cankerworms are caterpillars that feed off the leaves of trees. If left unattended, they can strip a tree of its leaves.
"Every spring, we see a lot of damage from cankerworms," Morrow said.
"Just when we get the new set of leaves, we see those little green worms eating and defoliating leaves, being annoying and being a problem."
Morrow said the male cankerworms, which have wings, are already out of the ground.
The focus is on preventing the females, which don't have wings, from crawling up the tree trunk and laying their eggs. The band is a sticky barrier that traps the female as she climbs up.
To apply the band, cut a length of fibreglass insulation long enough to wrap around the tree at chest or shoulder height.
Attach the insulation using a staple gun. Wrap shrink wrap over the top of the insulation, ensuring that it hangs three inches above and below.
Place a strip of duct tape perpendicular to the band and staple it on, at the point where the shrink wrap was cut off.
Wrap duct tape above and below the insulation and staple the tape at the ends.
Lastly, apply some type of heavy duty axel grease on the band and remove it at the end of May.
To get assistance banding trees, call the City of Regina at 777-7000 to be directed to a tree-banding service.
The city plans to band 400 trees this year. The total budget for this process, Morrow said, is only $5,000-$10,000.
However, since the cost of spraying for cankerworms is usually around $100,000 a year, an effective banding process is important.
"We do monitor and we have monitoring sites set up," he said.
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