Your yard is an aesthetically pleasing addition to the exterior of your home, and forms a great deal of the curb appeal of your property. However, your yard and garden are not immune from threats: pests and insects can take up residence and cause a great deal of damage. Your trees are no exception, and in fact may be at particular risk due to their large size because they can host whole colonies of determined insects that can quickly overwhelm and kill them. Understanding some of the warning signs associated with an insect presence in your trees can help you determine when you should contact a pest control or tree health specialist.
One of the first and most obvious signs associated with the presence of a sizable insect population in your trees is any sign of significant damage to your tree's leaves. This will usually take the form of large holes being apparent in the bodies of the leaves, or the leaves falling off of the branch when it is the middle of spring or summer. Brown spots are also common, and will usually spread out from around the holes that insects have eaten.
Bark and Wood Damage
Another clear indication that insects have started to wreak havoc in your trees is if you see that there are broken sections of bark and exposed trunk wood underneath. Look for tracks or tunnels that criss-cross the surface of the wood. This can sometimes include holes in the wood underneath the bark as well; certain insects and pests bore their way into the heart of the trunk and sap the nutrients out of it, undermining the structural stability of your tree and making it much more likely to die and pose a falling risk.
Leaking Sap and Mold Growth
In a very similar train of thought to the above point, you should watch out for any signs of sap leaking out of your tree from behind the bark. Large amounts of sap can be caused by boring insects that damage the bark and underlying wood, causing sap to bleed out as a food source, bleeding nutrients from the tree and severely adversely affecting its health. In a somewhat related turn, you may see mold growing on the side of your tree as it feeds on this sap, which can further the damage that the insects inflicted by drawing more sap away from the tree over time.
If your trees are showing signs of an insect infestation, contact your local tree services for more information.