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Tussock moths on Oak Trees. Will the city do anything?

Original post made by Neighbor to Oak Trees, Crescent Park, on Apr 9, 2007

The tusock moth problem is so bad this year. I heard Menlo Park city are spraying the trees. Is it true? Will Palo Alto do anything? I guess if the city does not do anything, we get to have the oaks sick and die and cut them down.

Comments (8)

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Posted by Phil Lanthrop
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 9, 2007 at 9:54 pm

I read an article the other day in the stanford daily and the head groundskeeper at
the farm didn't seem to be too concerned offer the can find the article by going to the stanford daily online....the groundskeeper is very knoweldgeable and freindly and would be receptive to your questions....should not be hard to contact....if you want an
experts advice....they give it freely and seem to enjoy doing so....apparently rain could have helped ease the predicament....but we haven't had much of that....

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2007 at 8:47 am

There is also a blight of some sort on our city owned trees. It looks like fall down my street as new young leaves covered in some disease or other cover the ground. This is about the third or fourth spring it has happened, but I don't think the city does anything about it. They do know it is happening because I called last year and asked them what was happening. They didn't seem too bothered.

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Posted by Simon Firth
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 10, 2007 at 10:57 am

Resident -- are you sure it's not just all the live oaks losing their leaves, as they always do at this time of year? Live oaks are evergreen, but like all evergreens they still shed their leaves once a year -- just in spring once their new growth starts, not in the fall.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2007 at 11:04 am


I am no expert when it comes to what tree variety I have. But, these trees had no leaves since the fall and the leaves falling now are young green leaves, full of moisture but with discolored wrinkles on the edges.

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Posted by Simon Firth
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 10, 2007 at 11:44 am

Those don't sound like live oaks, then. If your trees have been doing it for years and they are otherwise thriving, I'd think you don't have too much to worry about. If they are weaker every year, though, I'd have them looked at by a certified arborist. A good one will come out to see the problem and recommend treatment, if needed, without a fee. You can also talk with Canopy, the excellent Palo Alto non profit devoted to the care of our local trees,and they will be able to recommend someone to you. Good luck!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2007 at 12:07 pm


Thanks for your help and interest

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Posted by joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 11, 2007 at 5:29 am

Neighbor to oak trees, you don't have to spray toxins on the trees. They coexist with the moths.

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Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Apr 11, 2007 at 11:52 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

Here's a link to a story one of our reporters, Becky Trout, wrote about the issue.

Web Link

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