Cankerworms

A Trifling Place
9:41 am
Mon February 18, 2013

A Trifling Place, Episode 6: When Cankerworms Attack

Up close view of cankerworms stuck on Tanglefoot on a willow oak tree outside the city's Landscape Management office.
Tasnim Shamma

Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.  

In our last episode (Charlotte's Tree Obsession), we ended with this sound bite: "Die, cankerworm, die!" 

That's city arborist Donald McSween back in 2008 when WFAE's Lisa Miller followed him on his war against the cankerworms.

He also had some help: citizen soldiers like Sophia Hollingsworth. 

"We picked them off and didn’t feel bad at all about mooshing them because we felt it was one less cankerworm," Hollingsworth says. "And I don’t feel bad about any of them dying. It’s the canopy that Charlotte is known for and the trees are more important than the caterpillars. Hate the green monster."

Five years later, the fight against the inch-long creatures continues.

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Science & Environment
1:00 pm
Tue April 8, 2008

Eulogy for Charlotte's Cankerworms

It's a tough week to be a cankerworm in Charlotte. The planes have taken to the air and are dropping a substance that's designed to make a deadly meal for the wormy millions. City officials hope this week’s spraying will vastly thin the ranks of the cankerworms.  They expect the green worms back next year, but in lower numbers.  WFAE's Lisa Miller considers the plight of the cankerworm as the corpses begin to mount. 

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