Cicadas: End Times for Small Trees?

“Place loose mesh or netting over small, vulnerable trees to protect them from damage,” the experts tell us. But which trees are “vulnerable”? And what if you have about 30 “vulnerable trees” in your yard?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! How’d you like to spend all day helping me incarcerate trees in sheets of fine netting? I asked Mom on Friday.

Where do I sign up? she wanted to know.

So that was our Sunday: wrapping optically-illusory black netting around about 12 Japanese maples, redbuds, and dogwoods in the yard that strike us as particularly “vulnerable.” But what it comes down to is this: we are the vulnerable ones.  I looked around the backyard today thinking, “I couldn’t stand to lose that one. That one came from Robert W’s special collection! That one’s Hal’s favorite. That one is the first one we planted when we dug into the back yard…” They’re all special somehow, and I’d mourn every one of them if those little winged satans offed them with their evil egg deposits.

I don’t know if the 17-year cicada invasion means small-tree armageddon for the happy little trees we’ve planted in the past few years. But I’m buying into the notion that being pro-active will make me feel slightly less helpless when the plague of locusts descends.

Was it a waste of time? Is it even the right kind of netting? I have no idea. I’ll let you know in about 2 months.

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