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Oak Pests - A Guide to Major Insects, Diseases, Air Pollution and Chemical Injury

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Archips semiferanus

Importance. -- This insect sometimes defoliates many red and white oaks throughout the East. Defoliation has been most severe along ridge tops where white and chestnut oak frequently occur. Forest areas are often defoliated for several consecutive years, killing many trees.

Identifying the Insect (figure 10). -- Larvae are various shades of green about 1.2 inch (29 mm) long, and have black heads. At rest, the wings of the adult appear bell shaped and are creamy brown and gray with a darker cross band.

Identifying the Injury. -- The larvae either fold or roll individual leaves together, forming an enclosure for protection and rest, when not feeding. Extensive stands of trees may be completely defoliated, including the understory.

Biology. -- Overwintering eggs hatch in April and the young larvae begin rolling the leaves and feeding. Feeding is complete by mid-June and pupation occurs in cocoons within the rolled leaves or in bark crevices. Moths emerge in late June or early July and deposit eggs in masses on the trunk and branches.

Control. -- Natural enemies are usually effective. Chemical controls may be needed to protect high-value trees.

Figure 10

Figure 10. -- Oak leafroller larvae.

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