Caterpillar invasion: Grubs strip ash trees in Telford

by | Jun 11, 2014 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

A stretch of trees in Telford have been completely stripped of foliage after millions of caterpillars made them their home.

A number of tests are now being carried out on the ash trees on Sutton Way in Sutton Hill after the mountain of caterpillars totally stripped them of leaves.

However, experts say the outbreak has nothing to do with the recent outbreak of ash dieback.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s parks and open spaces team is still in the process of trying to identify the species of caterpillar and is consulting both the Forestry Commission and Defra’s Plant Health department.

Matthew Seabrook, trees and woodlands officer for the council, said: “We do not believe there is any danger to the public from what is a fascinating natural phenomenon and this is nothing to do with ash dieback.

“There does not appear to be any other tree species affected and we have not identified any outbreak on a similar scale anywhere else in the borough.

“We have taken samples to observe the caterpillars through their life cycle in a bid to identify the moth as it matures.”

Caterpillar infestations are quite common in ash trees, the tree grows well in areas with full sunshine or partial shade and a bit of winter chill and several species of caterpillar either bore or chew their way through the wood and foliage of this tree, threatening its health.