Scientific Name: Eriophyes fraxiniflora
Scientific Type: Leafminers & Needleminers
The Aspen Leafminer (Phyllocnistis populiella) is a tiny moth in the Gracillariidae family that is commonly found in North America, specifically affecting the leaves of aspen, cottonwood, and poplar trees. The larvae of the Aspen Leafminer feed within the leaves of the tree, creating serpentine-shaped galleries that can cause a significant amount of defoliation, which weakens the tree and can make it more susceptible to other pests and diseases. The adult Aspen Leafminer is about 1/4 inch long and has a distinctive yellow and brown pattern on its wings. The female moth lays her eggs on the leaves of the tree, and the larvae emerge within a few days and begin feeding on the inner layer of the leaf. They create a network of galleries, which can severely damage the leaf tissue and reduce photosynthesis, which is essential for the tree’s survival. Aspen Leafminers have multiple generations each year, with the first generation appearing in late May or early June, and subsequent generations appearing in late June and early July. Trees that are heavily infested with Aspen Leafminers can lose as much as 50% of their leaves, which can reduce the tree’s overall health and make it more susceptible to other pests and diseases. The best way to control Aspen Leafminers is to prevent them from becoming established in the first place. This can be done by planting resistant varieties of aspen, cottonwood, and poplar, and by monitoring the trees for the presence of eggs and larvae, which can be easily spotted by looking for the distinctive serpentine galleries on the leaves. If Aspen Leafminers are present, removing infested leaves and applying insecticides can help control the population. In conclusion, the Aspen Leafminer is a tiny moth that can cause significant damage to aspen, cottonwood, and poplar trees. To prevent Aspen Leafminers from becoming established, it is important to monitor trees for the presence of eggs and larvae, remove infested leaves, and apply insecticides if necessary.