Leave Those Catalpa Worms Be

| 6/17/2013 12:36:00 PM

Tags: catalpa worms, natural pesticide, Linda Holliday,

catalpa flowersMore than once in my life, I’ve interfered with a plant, critter or bug I was unfamiliar with instead of first doing my research.

Many years ago, after growing up in Wisconsin, I was unacquainted with a twisty sort of tree flourishing beneath the power pole at my new home in Virginia. The house had been vacant for some years before I arrived, so I reasoned the untamed vegetation spread on its own.

A full 8 months pregnant, I marched right out there with my pruning saw, hacking each 15-foot tree off at ground level. I figured it was better to sacrifice the young trees before they grew into the electric wires and before I fell in love with them.

Pleased with my day-long effort to cut, drag and stack the brush, I was atop the huge pile, stomping it into a manageable mass to burn, when a neighbor – a fourth-generation Virginia tobacco farmer – happened to stop in. I assumed his perplexed look centered on my precarious position and safety.

Oh, it’s OK, I said. My doctor says me and the baby are perfectly healthy. This is not stressful, I added, hoping he would not consider me frail or reckless.

“No, I was wondering,” he asked, “How come you cut down all your dogwood trees?”

bob white
7/10/2018 2:05:57 PM

Why would anybody want a tree in their yard that looks like a tornado went through it.

7/7/2018 9:19:34 PM

I have 2 catalpa trees in my yard. They were given to me by an aunt that had mature trees around their now for sale property. I am sure that those trees are relatives to the original trees. The home was built in the 1700's. There are several catalpa's around that old house. I don't ever bother the worms as I assume they have a purpose. Now I understand why I leave them alone.

7/4/2018 7:20:05 AM

We just moved to Greensboro, NC, and in one night these worms are all the leaves in our huge tree! I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m glad the tree will be ok. I’m really not a fan of the worm infestation though.

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