Tent Caterpillars and Black Cherry Trees

Apr 5, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Our native black cherry, Prunus serotina, is usually defaced this time of year by a large web of silk that houses several hundred leaf-eating Eastern tent caterpillars. If you can reach the web, use a small rake to pull the mass to the ground. Then you can actually stomp on the caterpillars and destroy them. If you don’t, they will march right back up the tree. If you can’t reach the nest, don’t fret, as the tree will produce new leaves and continue photosynthesizing for the rest of the season. . Interestingly, this tree is also the larval food source for four butterflies and 26 other moth species, including the interestingly named Tufted Bird Dropping Moth, entomologists must have a sense of humor, so think of this tree as a terrific food source   for birds to feed their young.