Certified Arborists

Serving Rhode Island since 1974

Top 15 Tree Pests in Rhode Island

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There are several types of aphids which affect a wide variety of deciduous trees and shrubs.  Damage consists of deformed leaves which are unsightly and defoliation can occur.  Control measures are successful, and take place throughout the season.




The bagworm is a perennial insect pest of arborvitae, juniper, pine, spruce, and many other evergreen species. It also attacks certain deciduous trees such as black locust, honeylocust, and sycamore.


Bronze Birch Borer

Bronze birch borer

BBB is a boring beetle which affects white birch.  This is a very damaging insect which is hard to control, after it has infested a tree.  Control is most effective when done as a preventative measure, annually.


Emerald Ash Borer

emerald ash borer

The Emerald Ash Borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America. While adult beetles nibble on ash foliage, this causes little damage. It’s the larvae of these beetles that do the most damage by feeding on the inner bark of ash trees, which disrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, ultimately killing it.


Gypsy Moth


Gypsy Moth caterpillars are generally known as ‘exfoliator’ pests in that they strip trees and plant of their leaves. Gypsy Moth typically prefer to feed on hardwood trees and with repeated defoliation, the effects of leaf loss can ultimately kill a tree.


Hemlock Scale

Hemlock Scale

Affects hemlock, fir, and certain spruces, causing yellowing needles which will eventually drop if tree is not treated.  Control measures are successful, and can take place in the spring or fall.


Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

Affects untreated hemlocks, causing needles to drop, and tree to thin out until it completely dies.  Control measures are successful, and treatments can take place throughout the season.


Japanese Beetle

Japanese Beetle

This common beetle affects a wide variety of deciduous plants such as: roses, cherry, apple and linden.  The infestations and heavy damage occur in the months of June and July.  Control measures are successful, mainly taking place at the time of feeding.


Lace Bug


Lace bugs typically target ornamental, evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. Lace Bugs often go undetected until the infested plants show severe damage.




Lanternflies are an invasive species that originate from China, Vietnam and parts of India. The Lanternfly uses its specialized mouth parts to penetrate a plant’s exterior to suck out the sap inside, badly weakening the plant and leaving them vulnerable to harsher winter conditions.




There are several types of mites and spider mites which affect a wide variety of trees and shrubs.  Mites can affect some deciduous trees such as honey locust, and can also commonly affect spruce, fir, hemlock, and arborvitae.  Control measures can be successful when timing is proper, and a specialized product is used.


Prunicola Scale

Prunicola Scale

This sucking insect commonly affects Cherry, Lilac, Privet, Willow, and other flowering ornamentals.  It causes foliage on branch ends to weaken and ultimately whole branches die.  Control measures are successful and generally consist of two well-timed applications, one in the early spring and one during the growing season. 


Taxus scale

Taxus scale

This white, soft, cottony mass will commonly affect yew, holly, and other evergreen shrubs.  It reduces the vitality of the shrub, and it produces a black material called sooty mold, which can be seen plainly on the foliage.  Control measures are successful, when timed in the spring and summer.




Thrips feed by puncturing the outer layer of host tissue and sucking out the cell contents, resulting in stippling, discolored flecking, or silvering of the leaf surface.


Winter Moth Caterpillar

Winter Moth Caterpillar

Affects a wide variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, causing damage or defoliation to leaves soon after buds open in early spring.  Control measures are successful when done at the proper time, immediately following budbreak.  Trees which suffer multiple years of winter moth caterpillar defoliation will go into decline.

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You saved my big holly tree.  Thanks,

Kay M. North Kingstown, RI March 3, 2015

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Kaiser is great, they have been so helpful to us in bringing back to life many of our Japanese Maple trees. We have several rare specimens and they were infested with Winter Moth and then with Cottony Scale. Last year they sprayed for both and did a deep root fertilization to all of our trees and shrubs and everything looks amazing this year. We couldn't be happier with the service. They are all very professional and very approachable. I highly recommend them!

Lisa K. Barrington, RI    March 3, 2015