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Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge


We bring a highly specialized knowledge not common to most tree service companies to a property like rare Charitable Research Reserve in areas of insect and disease diagnosis and treatment.

Thomas Amorim, a certified horticulturist/arborist of King Tree Service, works with his crew to prune dead branches and remove gypsy moths from a century-old oak tree at the rare Charitable Research Reserve in the Blair area of Cambridge.


Gypsy Moth Larvae

Gypsy moth invasion predicted

From the Hamilton Spectator April 2, 2007, Natalie Pona
Gypsy moth invasion predicted; 'Soak them in oil, alcohol ... smash them with a hammer,' advises arborist [Final Edition]

Burn them. Dunk them in bleach. Vacuum them up.
Just destroy those gypsy moth eggs before they hatch and result in possibly the worst infestation Hamilton has seen in years.

"Soak them in oil, alcohol. Anything aggressive like that. Smash them with a hammer," said Tom Amorim, a consulting arborist and horticulturalist for King Tree Service.

"Homeowners can do so much themselves."
The City of Hamilton plans to post its own tips for controlling gypsy moths on its website in the next few days, said Tami Sadonoja, the city's urban forestry technician.

The leaf-eating pests are due to hit peak population levels in Hamilton this year, she said. Parts of the city could be hard hit.
Spotters have reported increases in egg masses around Hamilton, Haldimand, Six Nations and in the Niagara area, said Terry Schwan, Guelph district forester for the Ministry of Natural Resources.

"You never know until it happens, but in some areas it will be pretty rough," Schwan said.

But there's no call for panic, said Taylor Scar, provincial forest entomologist with the ministry.

All won't be lost if homeowners don't destroy the eggs before the mid-April hatch. In fact, scraping off or vacuuming up the small, beige, football-shaped discs may be more effort than is needed. Homeowners with a serious infestation can wipe out the moths with a bacterial insecticide, Scar said.

Even if there are a lot of eggs on the ground, viruses and bacteria could decimate the moths before they have time to destroy any trees, he said.

Gypsy Moth Egg Mass

Predators may also reduce the population, said William Szenasi of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Some local birds have developed a taste for the larvae.


How you can cope with Gypsy Moths

Tips for controlling the gypsy moth population

(Source: excerpted from the City of Toronto)

  • Remove and destroy egg masses wherever you find them. This helps reduce the number of caterpillars in the coming season.
  • Wrap a piece of burlap around tree trunks, folding the band to provide caterpillars with a hiding place from the heat of the day. Collect and destroy caterpillars from this shelter each afternoon.
  • Trap male moths by hanging pheromone (sex hormone) traps on the trees. They act as decoys and prevent males from mating.
  • Plant herbs, flowers and shrubs to attract birds that eat caterpillars and moths.
  • In severe infestations, apply the biological insecticide containing bacillus thurigiensis kurtsaki, which affects the caterpillars of moths and butterflies. It is only effective when caterpillars are in an early stage of development. Apply treatment as soon as feeding begins. A good indicator of the correct time to apply is when bridal wreath spirea is in bloom.

Credit: The Hamilton Spectator


A Public Service Announcement Re: Gypsy Moth in Ontario January 2007

The Gypsy Moth larva (Lymantria dispar L.) is a Ministry regulated pest in Southern Ontario.

These insects can strip a tree of its leaves. Trees of low vigor can be killed. Healthy trees can be weakened and thus made susceptible to further attacks or other environmental impacts. Trees can become larger maintenance issues (needing pruning or removal).

The use of pesticides to control caterpillars needs to be stopped or minimized. Chemical residue and drifting harms children, pets, birds and wildlife as well as the beneficial insects that naturally control pests.

The silk thread sailing of larvae from tree to neighbouring tree or property makes it necessary for a concerted effort.

Caterpillars, their excrement and hair are a nuisance and have allergic affects on humans.

Inexpensive cultural practices like the addition of organic matter, mulching, soil aeration, moderate application of nutrients deficient in trees and watering will help trees defend themselves and recover from an attack.

Remember ~ tree health is almost entirely dependent upon the amount of organic matter available to tree roots! Tree health = soil chemistry + nutrient availability + organic matter.

  • You can control 50% of a population from the ground by manually destroying egg masses deposited on trees see picture.
  • Banding barriers and traps on trees can stop their movement into a tree or help in rounding them up
  • Young caterpillars can also be controlled with a blast of water and an insecticidal soap
  • Remove moths before they lay eggs (see picture)
  • Hire an Arborist to remove clusters of egg masses from heavily infested tree tops


“The Forestry Section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for development of forest policies that prevent the introduction and spread of regulated pests into Canada.”

For more information please see the original public service announcement for January.


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