The invasive oak lace bug may be to blame for the yellowing and browning of Oregon white oak tree leaves.

The non-native oak lace bug is causing increased damage to Oregon white oak trees, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

While the oak lace bug has been in Oregon since 2015, their damage has been more substantial this year.

“Insects can have ‘wave’ years in which populations increase for a variety of reasons ranging from increases in fitness such as from an increase in quantity or quality of food sources to a decrease in predators to a change in conditions,” said Christine Buhl, forest entomologist for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “Summer temperatures were extended late this year so I hypothesize that this extended the active feeding window so oak lace bug populations just had more time to keep feeding/causing more damage.”

The oak lace bug is native from southern Canada to the Eastern, Central and Southern United States. In Oregon, they are mostly a pest of urban oaks but can infest related trees.

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