What’s Eating My Tree in My Gainesville, GA Property?

You’re walking around your yard admiring the beautiful trees and notice one with seemingly eaten leaves. This might leave you wondering, “What’s eating my tree?”

Various pests can feed on your trees, but identifying the culprits can be a real headache. In this blog post, your leading tree service company in Gainesville, GA takes a deeper look into the common insect species and other pests that can wreak havoc on your trees. 

what's eating my tree

Spongy Moth

No matter the types of trees you have in your yard, you should be wary of spongy moth caterpillars. They feed on more than 500 tree species and shrubs. 

The hairy caterpillars feature a beige head and can grow up to two inches long. They can severely defoliate your tree, leaving it with little to no chance of survival. 


When aphids attack your tree, they don’t just destroy leaves; they can also kill the tree. These bugs are also notorious for spreading fungal diseases. 

How can you tell you’re dealing with an aphid infestation?

Look out for yellowing leaves that begin to curl with a moist, shiny substance that the pests release as they feed on tree sap. 

Emerald Ash Borer

Ask any experienced arborist in Gainsville, GA “What’s eating my tree?” and chances are they’ll mention the Emerald Ash Borer. 

The United States has lost tens of millions of trees to this Asian native pest. Adults start to lay eggs on the bark of ash trees two weeks after they emerge. 

The larvae will hatch and tunnel into the tree after one to two weeks. This disrupts the tree’s vascular system and it eventually dies.  

Bronze Birch Bore Beetles

If you have birch trees on your property, one problem you’ll often deal with is bronze birch bore beetles. Adult beetles don’t cause much damage as they feed on your birch leaves. We can’t say the same about the larvae – they can be disastrous!

Adult beetles lay eggs in cracks under the tree’s bark and damaged parts. The eggs hatch into larvae, which eat their way deeper into the bark. They then feed on the phloem and xylem tissues, hampering the efficient supply of nutrients and water in the tree. 

Elm Leaf Beetle

This pest feeds on the tender parts of your tree leaves while leaving the structural veins intact. If you notice circular holes in the leaves, adult beetles are often the culprit. 

If you don’t address this issue early enough, the defoliation might lead to leaves falling early. Some parts of the tree may die back.

Root Feeders

Since root feeders live underground, detecting them is never easy. Also, you can easily confuse nutrient deficiency with roof feeder infestation. These problems have similar symptoms like yellowing leaves and stunted leaf growth. 

You’re better off consulting a qualified arborist or entomologist if you suspect you’re dealing with roof feeders.  These pests often attack specific plant species. White grubs attack fir trees, whereas conifer root aphids attack conifers. 


We often focus on insect pests when trying to determine what’s eating our trees. The local wildlife can also harm your trees. 

A wide variety of rodents, birds, and other small animals can feed on tree trunks, fruits, and foliage. Others use parts of your tree to build nests. 

Contact Us for Expert Advice

What’s eating my tree? Now that you know the answer, you should seek help from a local certified arborist. Whether it’s a Japanese beetle, aphids, or other pests, Clark Tree Experts can help protect your trees against damage. Contact us at (864) 482-1427 for a free estimate and to learn about fast-growing trees for privacy in Gainsville, GA!

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