Saving the Solitary Oak

The spring of 2021 witnessed a massive invasion of non native spongy moths along the eastern edge of Georgian Bay.
Climate change and warmer winters are driving factors in spongy moth spread.

One special lone oak at a condo property within the Georgian Bay Biosphere was particularly stressed by the attack.  
Growing in a challenging site on pink granite prompted owners to  intervene in 2022 to save the tree.

Active stewardship of this distinctive Eastern Georgian Bay ecosystem also protects an ancient balance of plant and animal life which existed long before the condo. Respect and preservation of this habitat, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, is key to environmental health. As development relentlessly chews away at this magnificent region stewardship is vital.

Dead moth clusters indicated nearby eggs waiting to burst with caterpillars.

First the egg sacs and dead moths were removed and the tree limbs sprayed with soapy water.

Next the tree trunk was wrapped in burlap to attract travelling caterpillars to its dark shelter were they were located and removed.

As the caterpillars metamorphose into moths the flying males look for eggs to fertilize.

Traps containing pheromone attractant are then hung in place on the tree and emptied as required.

A tree that has been stressed by spongy moths and caterpillars will need care such as frequent watering particularly on hot summer days.