When we lived in Buffalo, we became warriors in the gypsy moth battle. One of the things we quickly learned was to check tree trunks for larvae, especially those trees with thick, rough bark where caterpillars could hide. It went without saying that burlap used to insulate tender plants came off as soon as possible in the spring, because that burlap was a great place for larvae to live as well.
Back in Washington state, we don’t have a gypsy moth infestation (yet), but the lesson was retained: we don’t leave materials wrapped around the trunks or branches of trees. Other pests would find them just as hospitable as gypsy moths, and the dark, moist conditions would be wonderful for disease development.
So imagine my horror this morning when the Sunday paper featured the latest Seattle art – Tree Socks. These knit installations are appearing on trees in public spaces. Don’t get me wrong – I love art – but this just seems like a bad idea waiting to happen.
Why not dress up utility posts and light poles instead? They’re certainly more in need of aesthetic improvement than trees.