Oak processionary moth – update

We are very glad to report that Bartlett’s Tree Experts removed the oak processionary moth (OPM) nests from the affected oak trees on site yesterday. There were 17 nests in total, most of them in the large oak tree on the south side which overhangs our site.

Although the existing nests have been removed, there is clearly oak processionary moth in our area and we will need to be vigilant and to have the oak trees on site regularly monitored from now on.

I should imagine everyone knows what an OPM caterpillar looks like by now, but just in case, if you see a cluster of caterpillars looking like the ones below on an oak tree on site, do please notify a member of the committee with the location.

There are other, very hairy, caterpillars that you might find on fruit and vegetables. OPM caterpillars tend to stick to oak trees and to be found en masse as in the picture. Worth checking, though.

We also have the option to ask the Forestry Commission to authorise spraying our oak trees in spring with a preventative bacterial control, as part of their programme to contain the spread of OPM. This would be at no additional cost to the allotment society.

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