What, you might ask, is frass?
In layperson terms, it’s excrement left by insects. For the purposes of our summer newsletter, let’s call it like it is. It’s the “little brown dots” that rain down on porches, patios, sidewalks and driveways. It comes courtesy of the orange-striped oakworms that infest oak trees primarily from July through September.
You’ll know it when you see it. The orange-striped oakworm is 1½ to two inches in length. It’s black with an orange stripe down its back. Look closely and you can see what appears to be tiny black horns. When you spot the critter, reach out to Arborscapes. We can quickly and safely inject insecticide to rid your yard and outdoor area of the poop.
The orange-striped oakworm doesn’t threaten the health or life of your tree as much as it poses an aesthetic issue. It chews on oak leaves, then leaves its calling card down below. It’s easy to determine if you have a problem. It generally only poses a threat to young trees and those already left fragile by disease or drought. That’s a good reminder to keep your trees watered, properly pruned and moisture kept in by mulch or wood chips.
Often, oakworms are taken care of by birds or insects. You can do your part by removing leaves containing oakworm eggs. Then there’s the pesticide route if the problem calls for it.
Need any more motivation?
Picture a lovely summer night with family and friends on your patio, under the shade of that big, beautiful oak tree that you’ve enjoyed for years. Suddenly, here comes the frass!…
Chris is a Board Certified Master Arborist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, a North Carolina Licensed Landscape Contractor, and a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. He has has 20+ years of experience in the industry, and currently serves as Vice President of the Southern Chapter of the ISA.