Trees Across Durham Offering Free Workshops and Tree-Banding Materials
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DURHAM, N.C. – Residents interesting in preventing the damaging effects of cankerworms on Durham’s trees should volunteer now to take action to protect their own trees and others in the community.
Trees Across Durham, a broad-based partnership dedicated to making Durham a healthier and greener community by planting and protecting trees, is offering free workshops and free tree-banding materials as part of the new “Band Together” Campaign to help residents tackle cankerworms, which have reached outbreak levels in Durham over the last few years.
According to Urban Forestry Manager Alex Johnson with the City of Durham General Services Department, cankerworms are more than just a nuisance. “Cankerworms deplete a tree’s ability to respond to stress by stripping them of their early spring leaves, which forces them to re-grow their canopies from stored reserves before they can begin to generate the nutrients they need to grow and defend themselves,” Johnson said. “Cankerworms are also a nuisance, descending from tree canopies onto cars, houses, lawns, sidewalks, and people. They are indiscriminate feeders upon all plants while they make their way from their hatching sites in the trees to the ground where they pupate.”
One of the most effective ways to reduce cankerworm populations and save trees is through tree banding. The banding process includes wrapping trees with a sticky barrier, which blocks the flightless female moths from crawling to the tops of trees and laying eggs. This successful technique stops the cankerworms from reproducing which reduces their populations and their damaging effects when a majority of trees in an area are properly banded.
Workshops planned in the coming weeks will teach residents how to properly band their own trees, and volunteer days are set to target several neighborhoods for tree band installations. Residents are encouraged to register for the workshops and volunteer banding days to get updates on locations or rescheduling.
- Thursday, October 15, 7:30 p.m. – Durham County Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.
- Sunday, October 25, 2:30 p.m. – Durham County Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.
- Wednesday, November 11, 6:30 p.m. – Durham County Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster St.
Volunteer Banding Days:
- Thursday, October 15, 2 p.m. – Walltown, meet at the intersection of Green and Berkeley streets
- Thursday, December 3, 1 p.m. – Old North Durham, meet at Bay-Hargrove Park, 208 Hargrove St.
- Tuesday, December 8, 1 p.m. – Walltown, meet at the intersection of Green and Berkeley streets
Residents who plan to install tree bands on their own trees should do so by Halloween, and then apply the special glue by the first hard freeze (usually around Thanksgiving). Bands should be removed by May 1 to prevent rot during the hot, humid months.For the second year in a row, the Durham County Main Library, located at 300 N. Roxboro St., will have free tree-banding kits available for checkout by October 16 until the end of December. Kits include materials and tools to band approximately two medium-sized trees. Durham County received the National Association of Counties Achievement Award for offering this innovative banding kit check-out program last year.The “Band Together” Campaign is a partnership between Trees Across Durham, City of Durham, Durham County, Keep Durham Beautiful, and other community organizations to encourage residents to take steps now to reduce cankerworms. For more information about cankerworms, including a video which explains how to band a tree, as well as workshops and volunteer days, visit Trees Across Durham, email, or call (919) 560-7993.