There are numerous reasons why you may have requested a tree inspection for trees on your land. You may just be trying to avoid potential problems later. One of the things such an inspection looks for is the presence of bugs that could harm the tree, the surrounding environment or even you. Here are the top pests that are found during the inspection of trees in the UK.
The first bug you are likely to come across during a tree survey is the Asian Longhorn Beetle. It has caused extensive damage to broadleaf trees across the USA and through Italy. Now present in the UK, it has a life cycle of up to 4 years and its emergence holes are often the earliest signs of an infestation. The biggest infestation was found in 2012, in Kent where 2166 trees were removed to prevent any further spread. Another bug that can cause wide spread need for tree consultant services is the Great Spruce Beetle. Found primarily on mainland Europe, the beetle tunnels into the bark of living Spruce trees to lay its eggs. Its larvae feed on the tree, weakening and even killing the tree. It was first discovered in 1982, and is firmly established in parts of Wales and Western England. The Horse Chestnut Leaf Minor is present throughout the UK and was first noted in 2002. The caterpillar larvae feed on the leaves, destroying the leaf tissue. Luckily, a tree safety inspection will show little to no permanent damage to the tree and the new leaves in the Spring are unaffected, unless the tree is infested again.
Trees infested with the Oak Processionary Moth, or at least its larvae are showing during a tree inspection to be not so lucky. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of the oak tree and can completely defoliate a tree, leaving it open to attack from other pests and to the adverse weather conditions. If there are a lack of oak trees in an affected area the caterpillars also attack and feed on birch, sweet chestnut, beech, hazel and hornbeam trees. As well as being a danger to the health of trees these caterpillars can cause irritation, rashes and itchy skin in those that come into contact with them. Eye and breathing problems have also been reported as the small hairs on the larvae are carried by the wind. It is important to report sightings of these pests and to have a professional tree report carried out. Lastly, in this run through we have the Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp. This rather scary looking creature, when up very close, was first seen in the UK in 2015, in Kent, it has since been found in other sites across the South-East and London. The effect on the tree are determined by arborist services to depend on the number of galls, or abnormal growths, on the individual tree. Even in adult hood the wasps are tiny and pose no threat to humans.
These pests, and others vary in the degree to which they are harmful to the tree, the local tree population and others in the vicinity. However, if you are see something you are not sure about the best thing to do is consult a professional and request a tree inspection.