Orginally posted at: http://sustainability.ncsu.edu/uncategorized/students-families-to-combat-cankerworms-on-annual-day-of-service
This year NC State’s annual Parents and Families Weekend service project isn’t about planting trees; it’s about saving them.
From 9 – 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, up to 75 students, parents and family members will attach specially-designed bands to about 80 campus trees that are most vulnerable to cankerworms, a small but mighty pest that wreaks havoc on N.C. trees.
“Cankerworms have become more and more abundant,” said Steve Frank, an NC State associate professor of entomology. “In Raleigh it’s getting worse and worse, and [combating cankerworms] is important to preserving urban trees and forests.”
As the first phase of the band application, volunteers will wrap and attach about six inches of polyfill fabric and special paper around tree trunks. Later in the fall just before cankerworms begin climbing trees, the university will slather the bands with Tanglefoot, a sticky paste of natural resins, oil and wax that traps female moth worms so they can’t lay eggs in tree branches. This helps reduce caterpillar abundance and damage while also preventing future infestations.
“We’ll be helping to prolong the life and health of trees,” said Susan Grant, Director of University Housing.
This year’s project is a departure from the traditional Parents and Families Weekend service project that has typically involved planting new campus trees, shrubs or other landscaping features. A partnership of University Housing, Parents & Families Services, Design and Construction Services, Student Leadership and Engagement, and the Department of Entomology, this year’s service project will help campus while also educating participants about tree preservation.
“This project not only protects our trees on campus, it also provides a great learning opportunity for our parents and families,” said Stacy Fair, Director of Parent, Family and Visitor Services.“After participating in this project they will be equipped with the knowledge to go back home and protect their own trees.”