Insect & Mite Treatment

Insects and mites can infest your trees, weakening them and increasing the chance of an accidental fall. We can help keep your trees clear of pests, so you don’t have to worry about anything imperiling your tree’s health.

A Guide to Tree Infestation for Homeowners in Minnesota

Trees are important to our home environment. They don't just add beauty, they also provide shade and much-needed privacy. Unfortunately, trees are also prone to various types of infestation, and this can become a huge problem for homeowners in Minnesota. 

Here are some of the symptoms of tree infestation, common pests in trees and shrubs, and the difference between dead and sick trees:

What are the symptoms of a tree infestation?

Any tree has the potential to become infested. As such, it's important to know the symptoms of a tree infestation so that you can act quickly and restore your trees. The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely you will be able to maintain the trees on your property. 

Here are some symptoms to look for:


  • Your tree has thinning leaves or needles

  • You notice unusual leave sizes

  • You notice holes or loose bark on the trunk

  • Lifting roots

  • Holes in leaves

  • There is discoloration on the needles or leaves

These are the most common signs that your trees or shrubs are infested with pests. If you believe that you're experiencing one of these issues with your trees, be sure to take a sample or picture to help identify the problem quickly. 

What are common pests in trees and shrubs?

Many homeowners believe that a healthy yard shouldn't attract pests. On the contrary, a healthy yard will actually attract all types of insects, which increases the risk for pest infestations. Here are some common pests that you will find in trees and shrubs. 

  • Aphids: The rose aphid is one of the most common types of pests that you will find in your yard. These pests are small and green, with soft bodies generally found in large colonies. Aphids are mainly active in early spring where they suck the sap from young plant stems.

  • Bagworms: These are caterpillars that make spindled-shape cocoons on trees and shrubs. Bagworms are known to target specific trees, including both deciduous trees and evergreen trees. If there is a large population of bagworms, it will quickly strip plants of their foliage and eventually kill the plants.

  • Japanese beetles: These are the most common garden pests that you will find. These pests are extremely invasive and are identified by their green and bronze bodies and huge black legs. Japanese beetles will eat any type of plant and move relatively quickly. This means you need to act quickly if you believe your trees or plants are infested with this type of pest. 

  • Lace bugs: Lace bugs are known to live on the lower leaf surface where they feed on the plant's liquids. If your trees are infested with lace bugs, you will notice that the upper leaf surface of your leaves has numerous yellow or white spots.

Signs of Emerald Ash Borer Infestation

Ash trees, in particular, are susceptible to their own pest: the emerald ash borer. This is an invasive wood-boring beetle that can infest and kill even healthy ash trees, although it prefers stressed or damaged ash trees. Signs that your tree has an ash borer infestation include:

  • Thinning at the crown (top) of the tree

  • Bark splitting vertically

  • White patches in the bark where woodpeckers peck away at the bark to feed on larvae

  • D-shaped exit holes in the tree -- these are caused when the adult beetles emerge from the tree. 

The adult emerald ash borer beetle itself is about ½ inch long and metallic green. If you see these on your ash trees, don’t hesitate to call!

What are the differences between dead and sick trees?

Knowing whether your trees are dead or sick can be a bit confusing. But there are distinct ways you can tell the difference. 

One of the first places to look is the bark. If you notice wounds on the tree trunk, this is an indication that the tree is either diseased, decayed, or damaged. Another detail to pay attention to with regards to the tree bark is whether it has fungus growing on it. 

The fungus will begin to grow when a tree is dying to get decaying organic material for food. However, trees that are already dead will not have fungus as there will be no organic material to feed on. 

Another way to spot the difference between dead and sick trees is by paying attention to the twigs. If you find that the inside of the twig is bright green, your tree is still healthy. If you notice that the twig has a dull green appearance, this indicates that your tree is sick. If the twig is brittle, breaks easily, and is brown on the inside, this means your tree is probably dead. 

Caring for your trees is important. Many homeowners don't realize when their trees are sick or even dead, but knowing the signs to look for and what causes the damage is the first step to maintaining their health. 

So take a good look at your trees the next time you’re out in the yard, and call our team at Minnesota Tree Surgeons, LLC right away if you spot the warning signs!

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