Forest Tent Caterpillars Attack Trees In Northern Lower Peninsula

Several Northern Michigan trees are under attack by forest tent caterpillars.

Oak, Aspen and Sugar Maple trees in the northern Lower Peninsula have been targeted by the caterpillars this year.

The forest tent caterpillars strip leaves from the trees, but officials say the trees rarely die unless they were already weakened by another source.

Since caterpillar feeding has ended this season, spraying insecticides is not an effective control method.

Landowners should make sure all affected trees get at least one inch of water each week of the growing season.

They are also advised to apply slow-release fertilizer in the fall to help trees recover.

If the tree has died or is ailing, removing it can keep others in the area healthy by providing more sun and reducing competition for nutrients.

The Department of Natural Resource says there are widespread forest tent caterpillar outbreaks every 10 to 15 years.