Any arborists pottering about?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by keysofanxiety, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Mate at work found this weird silver fungus egg thing stuck on a tree and took a photograph... after sticking a dirty great fingernail into it for whatever stupid reason.

    Can't figure out what it is and a Google search comes back blank. Anybody have an idea what it is?
  2. AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
  3. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Arborist? Sort of. Entomologist? I get paid to pretend to be one!

    Looks like a pupal case of some kind.
    The first question to ask is where is this? The location will help cut down on a lot of riffraff in the google search.
    Also, what kind of tree is this on? That's another key to narrowing it down.

    Adult insects tend to be easy compared to identifying eggs, larva, or pupa. You might need to rear it out and see what comes of it.
  4. chown33 Moderator

    Staff Member

    Aug 9, 2009
  5. Zenithal macrumors G3

    Sep 10, 2009
    My laymen's guess is it's a caterpillar nest, which doesn't look like that, but humid evenings and morning dew tend to compact the layers they built and make it more sheath like. I would remove it with gloves and spray the tree with an insecticide and anti-fungal treatment.
  6. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I have to totally disagree with the suggestion of spraying anything.

    With so much talk of saving pollinators and reducing pesticide use these days, we need to think different about how we relate to insects and pesticide use. First off, we don't even know what this is. Is it a butterfly? I can tell you for sure this is not a fungus, so using a fungicide is wasteful. Is it even a risk to the tree? If it is harmful, how do we select the best insecticide if we still don't know what it is? Finally, if you are dead set on destroying it, why not do it in the simplest way possible - scrape it off in a bucket of soapy water! There's no need to pull out the "big guns" for this.

    There are studies that have shown that homeowners use 2-3 times more pesticides per acre than farmers do. Homeowners often want to "take action" rather than learn about and understand their surroundings. Very often the correct approach to an insect issue is "do nothing". Even when action needs to be taken, often pests can be more permanently and effectively handled by cultural controls than with repeated applications of chemicals. But in every case, the first step is to understand the problem, which no one wants to take the time to do.

    I'm sorry if I sound like I'm going overboard and especially apologize if I sound like I'm attacking you, Zenithal. But I really feel there's a teachable moment here. [/soapbox]

    My credentials: A BS and MS in Horticulture Science, 6 years as a County Ag Extension Educator, 14 years as a Regulatory Entomologist, Field Inspector, and Invasive Species Technician, and 20+ years as a licensed Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator.
  7. Zenithal, Jul 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019

    Zenithal macrumors G3

    Sep 10, 2009
    For someone who's spent so many years in the field, you should be incredibly well versed in simple, non-harmful methods of making a homemade anti-fungal or pesticide without resorting to caustic chemicals. Substances like neem oil or very diluted washing up liquid can repel bugs and insects fairly well without resorting to "big guns" or whatever imaginative weapon your mind can think of.

    No, I didn't see it as an attack. A useless, over-zealous and much misinformed post that jumped to conclusions and worst case scenarios, sure.
  8. Zenithal macrumors G3

    Sep 10, 2009
    No need to clarify. I'd pulled up your credentials years ago. The botany hobby community is small, and fortunately or unfortunately depending on the person, your initials come up here and there.

Share This Page

7 July 25, 2019