We have a young oak tree that is being decimated by these caterpillars - what are they and how do I get rid of them to save the tree?
Hi Jennifer, I am not sure what caterpillar that is, but it's probably a moth (you could try posting the photo on Wild About Britain on their caterpillar forum). Is it a small tree? if not should be ok with a few nibbles here and there, but if it's a young tree and you want them gone, then you could carefully pick them all off and put them in a small tub and then walk them to a nearby big oak tree and release them on there.
You also have some galls on your oak tree, the round balls and the green marble like ball on the leaves (these will have tiny gall wasps in each one) again these won't harm the tree. My tiny oak tree has lots on and it's happy growing away. Just a part of nature.
thanks will start picking when it stops raining! It is a small tree grown by my son 20 years ago and been in a pot until last year but we never had a problem until now
Good luck with the rain. It has stopped here, but it's blowing a gale. Nature likes to throw us surprises, they probably won't be back next year, so don't worry. There are lots of moths that will eat anything and aren't picky like butterflies. I expect these just fancied some delicious oak.
Young oak leaves make a nice wine, very tasty