We love our trees in Charlotte. We love old neighborhoods where the trees are older than the houses. We love the balls people hang in trees during Christmas. Trees are an important part of our city. Last year, a report on tree canopy found that Charlotte’s tree canopy cover had increased to 47 percent. The city wants to increase that to 50% by 2050. That’s pretty cool.
So if we have all of these beautiful trees, why are so many of them covered in ugly bands?
5 facts about tree bands:
(1) The City started a banding program in 1990.
(2) The primary purpose of the bands is to prevent damage from the fall cankerworm, an inch-worm caterpillar that eats the leaves off of trees in the spring, which can weaken and kill the trees.
(3) The bands work by trapping the wingless cankerworm moths, preventing them from climbing up to the branches and eating leaves or laying eggs.
(4) Tree banding typically happens in November and December. They can be removed in early February.
(5) The City has a Neighborhood Matching Grants Fund, and neighborhood groups can apply for up to $3,000 to help with tree banding costs.
You should love our trees, and you should love what the City and normal citizens are doing every year to keep it beautiful. Next time you’re in Myers Park and see some of those ugly tree bands, think about what the neighborhood would look like without any trees to band.
More info from the City of Charlotte here.
Photos: Suzanne Summerville & John D Simmons / Charlotte Observer