Insects And Pests That Can Harm The Paperbark Maple – And How To Prevent Damage

Paperbark maple trees are a distinctive ornamental tree with a reddish brown exfoliating bark and bright green leaves that turn orange in the fall. Paperbark maples are a great ornamental tree for smaller yards as the tree is moderate in size, can be easily pruned to be even smaller, and grows slowly.

Paperbarks are a fairly hearty tree that isn't vulnerable to many potentially fatal tree diseases or insect infestations. Insect infestations can still happen and cause damage, but addressing the problem with a tree care service can usually keep the tree form suffering much long-term damage.


Aphids are small, pear-shaped, fuzzy insects that can take hold in a paperbark maple tree. Individual aphids cause little damage as they hatch and feed on leaves and bark. But the quick lifecycle of an aphid – progression from egg to adult is about a week – means that it's easy for a tree to have a large number of aphids at one time.

The sheer number of aphids can start to make their eating habits more noticeable in the tree. Leaves can start to show signs of yellowing or browning earlier in the season and can prematurely fall off the tree.

A tree service can help you control the symptoms of an aphid infestation by quickly clearing away affected leaves. Chemical pest control is possible, but since the aphids aren't a major threat and the pesticides can kill other beneficial insects, that course of action should only be used if the tree is suffering significant aphid damage.


Mites are a common problem for many different types of maple trees. Two different types of mites can cause problems: the eriophyid mite or the spider mite. Both types of mites are so tiny that you won't see the insects but will rather start to see the symptoms of an infestation.

Eriophyid mites hatch in such large populations that the underside of the leaves where the mites are feeding can start to look yellow and fuzzy. The leaves will start to show signs of chewing or blistering. Spider mites will cover leaves and surrounding branches with thin webbing similar to that of a spider web. The mites can each cause the leaves to show premature signs of dieback.

A tree service can help by removing the affected leaves and by cleaning up the area surrounding the tree of fallen leaves and any dust, which is the type of environment that fosters spider mite growth. Contact a service like Tri-Point Tree & Landscaping to learn more.