Cankerworms

Watch this video​ to see how you can band your trees!

Cankerworms are pests that threaten the health of trees in Durham, and throughout the United States. You have probably seen these little green inchworms in the fall (Alsophilia pometaria) and spring (Paleacrita vernata). They fall from trees covering sidewalks, cars, and people. Aside from being inconvenient, both types of cankerworms feed on leaves of trees and shrubs, weakening plants and increasing their susceptibility to pests and environmental stressors such as drought and heat.

Cankerworm Outbreak
Cankerworms have reached outbreak levels over the last few years in Durham. This abundance is partially due to the cankerworm’s affinity for over mature willow oaks, like those that line the streets of Durham’s neighborhoods. The cankerworm’s extensive feeding leaves Durham trees even more vulnerable to dying.

Thankfully, we can control outbreaks of cankerworms. Read this fact sheet​​ about these pests and what you can do to protect our trees (PDF).

Workshops
Please contact us to come speak to your organization about cankerworms.

Get Materials to Band Your Trees
​There are several places for you to get materials to band your trees.

You can purchase banding materials and Tanglefoot at Stone Bros & Byrd garden center and Durham Garden Center.

You can purchase reuse materials to make your own bands at the Scrap Exchange.

Kits
A limited number of kits are available for check-out for free at the Main Library from October through December​. These kits include burlap and plastic to band two medium sized trees (approximately), as well as a staple gun, information sheets on how to band a tree, a sign to put on your tree, and a bandit mask to make banding trees more fun!

Here is a tag you can print and attach to your band so people will know what the band is for and get inspired to band their own trees.

​Don't forget the timeline! 

Band it - Halloween
Goop it - Thanksgiving
De-band it -  March 17 -MAY 1 



Here is a tag you can print and hand out to folks you might see that still have tree bands up past May 1. 

Recent article about cankerworms
Lack of Plant Diversity Spurs Cankerworm Damage in Cities​
Cankerworm band and sign