Trees & Urban Forestry

Gypsy Moth

European Gypsy Moth (EGM) is a non–native insect pest which has become endemic to much of south and central Ontario for approximately 4 decades, with outbreaks occurring every 7-10 years. An outbreak was noted in Simcoe County in 2019 and particularly severe and widespread defoliation was evident in 2020 where conditions were conducive across much of Ontario.

EGM feeds on a wide range of deciduous and some coniferous trees, however a component of oak is key and is generally required to drive significant outbreaks. During the larval (feeding) stage of the lifecycle in late May and June, substantial defoliation of trees may occur during peak years. Stress to defoliated trees will occur, and mortality to some deciduous trees may result after several successive years. Severe defoliation of coniferous trees may result in mortality after just one season. However, as population levels typically collapse back to low densities within 1-3 years of outbreak, no substantive or long-lasting impacts to overall forest health has resulted historically

For more information, please visit the County of Simcoe website:

What you can do to help control the populations:

  • If caterpillars or larvae are found, wear gloves when handling the insects, as their hairs can cause skin irritation on humans.

  • Hang burlap (landscape fabric, towel, old pillow case etc) around the trunk of your tree, around chest height, with twine holding it up in the middle and so it folds back over.  During the spring/summer months, the caterpillars will seek shade under the burlap.  Destroy the caterpillars daily for the few weeks they are out.  You can use duct tape early in the spring to catch the smaller caterpillars.  Be sure to remove the burlap or tape after the caterpillars have finished (June/July) to ensure the trees are not girdled.

  • Another method is to use a plastic wrap and put Tanglefoot (Vaseline or other sticky substance) on top so the caterpillar get stuck. The wrap will keep the sticky stuff off the tree and you can peel it off when the caterpillars are done. 
  • If eggs are detected, scrape the fuzzy, tan-colored masses off the tree/equipment they are affixed to, and destroy them immediately by crushing the eggs or by submerging the eggs into a bucket filled with water and soap for at least two days. After two days, discard the solution and egg mixture.

  • Never move firewood.

A video made by our colleagues at the City of London is a good resource for scraping egg mass es:

Street Tree Watering Program

The Town of New Tecumseth is committed to growing our urban forest.  We are working to increase our tree canopy and recognize this starts with the success of our newly planted trees.  To this end, the Town has secured tree watering bags and are being provided to residents who are willing to help water a newly planted boulevard tree.

Available for Newly Planted Boulevard Trees

While quantities last, Town staff are providing tree watering bags to residents willing to water a newly planted boulevard tree.

Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.  Try to water your tree once a week, barring rain, and more frequently during hot windy weather.  When the soil is dry below the surface of the mulch, it is time to water.  Continue until mid-fall, tapering off as lower temperatures and natural rainfall require less-frequent watering.

This program will help the tree establish a good root system and survive the establishment period (the first two to three years after it's planted). The goal is to have boulevard trees grow into a healthy urban forest. If we can get trees past that establishment period (2-3 years), their survival rate is much higher.

The tree watering bag's slow-release watering system provides deep water saturation and is convenient to use as it needs to be filled only once per week.

How to Participate

Residents with access to a boulevard tree that was planted in 2019 to 2021 are encouraged to participate:

  • Call the Town at 705-435-3900 or email to register.
  • Town staff will deliver the slow release watering bag and attach it to your tree.
  • Fill up the bag with water ONCE a week from May to October.
  • Leave the bag on the tree and it will be picked up at the end of October. Wait for the new bag to arrive in the spring!


Other Watering Options

If you prefer to water a tree with your household hose, please follow the steps below:

  • Turn the hose on very slightly so that a small trickle of water is coming out.  Set the hose beside the tree for 30 minutes to an hour.  Do this only once per week.
  • Or use a 5 gallon pail as a measure.  Some can drill a small hole at the base of the pail and let the water drain out slowly.  Again, do this once per week.
  • Do not overwater the tree as the tree will die from too much water.  Trees prefer one deep watering, as opposed to watering daily, the roots need to almost dry out.


Mulch is organic matter (a.k.a. “food”) spread around the base of your tree and will help to moderate soil temperature extremes, hold moisture, and reduce weed and grass competition.  Common mulches include leaf litter, peat moss, and composted wood chips. Avoid black-dyed mulch!

Keep the mulch around the base of the tree 5-10 cm thick, to the dripline, and at least 5 cm away from the trunk, NO “VOLCANOS”. 

Good mulching is the best thing you can do for your tree! 

Should you have any questions, or need to report any issues about the tree, please contact our Urban Forestry Technician in our Public Works Department.