Spider Webs in Trees: Should You Worry?

Many gardeners in North Carolina want to know whether spider webs in trees can harm their trees and landscaping. That’s why experts like Frady Tree Care, Charlotte’s tree service experts, are always available to clear up confusion about trees, shrubs, and more.

In this post, we outline a few harmful insect species that leave webs in trees. If you spot one, contact a service like Frady Tree Care immediately for an inspection before the insects burrow beneath the bark and kill your tree from the inside.

How to Spot Webs in Trees

Spiders do not generally cause life-threatening damage to trees or surrounding plant life. Instead, they feed on insects, larvae, and worms. However, lots of spiders might signify trees and shrubs with weakened immune systems—spiders feed on grasshoppers and ants, which live in hollow chambers and tunnels within dying trees.

Spider bites may cause allergic reactions, which is why some local tree care experts recommend removing the webs. However, experienced growers who want to avoid chemical pesticides will often voluntarily host spiders on fruit trees because they are voracious insect predators that act as potent pest control agents.

Other insect webs usually clump dead leaves and plant matter together near the crown. Spiders eat several of these insect species that could otherwise harm your plants and trees: So, if your garden spiders handle these insects, they could help save your trees! 

Pests that Weave Spider-Like Webs on Tree Branches

Spider Mites

Spider mites are a catch-all term for over 1,200 insect species in the Tetranychidae family. They form colonies producing hundreds of offspring in as little as five days. You can find them under tree leaves and forming silk-like webs around branches.

Unfortunately, spider mites have high adaptability and tolerance against pesticides. A female spider mite can spawn more than 15 eggs daily, making them capable of overtaking deciduous forests in a few months. Besides leaves, mites penetrate injured bark tissue to sap nutrients and moisture.

Tent Caterpillar

Tent caterpillars are a general term for 26 moth larvae species in Eurasia and North America. They build colorful silk tents in host trees. Most species, like fall webworms, small eggars, and lappet moths, begin their life cycles in early spring when they hatch from eggs and sunbathe to digest their diet of leaves.

While healthy trees can withstand leaf-mining from oak worms and caterpillars, heavy infestations cause malnutrition and skeletonized branches. The silk-like caterpillar habitats also mislead people into thinking they are seeing spider webs in trees.


Bagworms spin web cocoons on sycamore, willow, oak, poplar, and over 100 other species to avoid predators and disturbances. However, bagworms have a voracious appetite, and infestations can skeletonize entire trees in one season. Their silk bags are one to one-and-a-half inches in size and contain the carcass of a mother, which the worm uses as a base.

Do Chemicals Work Against Tree Pests?

How do you keep fruit trees safe from virtually every tree pest variation? Should you remove webs from branches or spray insecticides on infected tree tissues? With decades of combined experience, our licensed arborists emphasize that spraying and removing pests are band-aid solutions. 

This approach will not yield long-term effects compared to days-long fumigation. If you need more information, feel free to contact North Carolina’s Frady Tree Care experts.

Call the Tree Pest Experts Today!

Frady Tree Care is the leading independent provider of tree health services in North Carolina, including Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Salisbury, and Lexington.

Call Frady Tree Care at (704) 644-2516 today for a free estimate on tree care, how to handle spider webs in trees, and more!


Frady Tree Care has the most reliable and professional tree services in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons & High Point, NC areas! Our team is a third-generation certified and fully-insured arboriculture firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we are the tree service experts you can trust.


Charlotte Office

8640 Charlotte University City Blvd.  Suite A3-241        Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Lexington Office

402 W. 4th Avenue,    Lexington, NC 27292
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Salisbury Office

1460 Henderson Grove Church Rd,
Salisbury, NC 28147
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Winston-Salem Office

1035 Shalimar Drive.      Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Phone : (336) 236-1006

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