The Aspen Blotchminer

Have you noticed wilted or defoliating aspen trees? This phenomenon is directly related to the drought conditions that persisted for several seasons, and it is evident throughout the Lake States (especially Northeast Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin, and the Upper Penisula of Michigan). It is caused by the Aspen blotchminer (Phyllonorycter apparella).  Hosts are the Populus spp (aspens) and other trees in the willow family (Salicaceae). Apparently, this is an non-native invasive from Europe (Western and Northern regions). However, this insect rarely kills trees.

Photo credit: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service