Connick Tree Care

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Specialists in the Preservation
and Maintenance of Trees


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Oak Processionary Moth

Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) outbreaks

The first outbreak of OPM was discovered in Elmbridge and Spelthorne districts of Surrey in 2006. It then spread to Pangbourne in West Berkshire in 2010 and Bromley and Croydon Boroughs in 2012.

As shown on the 2017 map (courtesy of the Forestry Commission), the heaviest reported infestations were in West & SW London.

As of 2108 the infestation has spread rapidly out into the home counties, with many infestations being unreported. Each red dot denotes one tree.

The Forestry Commissions’ 2017 OPM Operational Plan Report states that:

  • 350 sites, 17,687 trees have been sprayed in the control zone
  • 2,111 nests have been removed from 84 sites


The threat...

As well as a threat to the trees, the caterpillars pose a health hazard to both humans and animals.  Threat from OPM

... to trees

Once the eggs have hatched and the caterpillars emerge, they feed on the oak trees leaves, slowly defoliating it. This results in a decrease to the photosynthesis process rendering the tree being left in a weakened state and vulnerable to other pests and diseases.

... to humans and animals

The fine hairs from the caterpillars contain a substance that causes irritation and rashes to people or animals. In severe cases, if inhaled, they can also cause breathing problems.

The hairs are easily shed from the caterpillars and can readily can be blown around on air currents, in addition, the nests themselves are often full of hairs.

Please do not attempt to touch the caterpillars or nests.


What to look for

Eggs are laid along twigs and branches any time between July to September. The egg plaque may only be 2cm long, which means it’s difficult to spot. Oak Processionary moth nest

When the larvae hatch, they are then visible from April to June, they are brown and approximately 2cm in length. Again, the size and colour make them difficult to see.

As they larvae grow they change into the distinctive hairy caterpillars, moving head to toe, in a procession, which is how they gained their name.

The caterpillars construct silken webbed nests. Theses nests are generally seen on the underside of branches or on the trees main stem, very rarely amongst the leaves. They can be as small as a few centimetres across or stretch for several meters.

The caterpillars then enter the pupae stage after which the moths emerge from the nests mid-July to early September. They only live for 3 or 4 days, but long enough to lay more eggs and begin the life cycle again.


Treating OPM

The treatment and removal will depend on where OPM is in the lifecycle.

During April and May, the larvae can be sprayed to control them. Connick Tree Care utilise a fogging machine to apply either a biological or growth regulating agent during the larval stage.

Between June to August is the time when we manually remove the nests from trees.

Nest removal should only ever be carried out by professional contractors, who are correctly equipped and trained to undertake the task.

Nest removal is undertaken by our arborists wearing protective suits and respirators. They ascend into the infested tree and climb throughout the branch structure to the individual nest sites. The nest is then removed and sealed inside a double bag, then removed offsite for incineration at a licensed waste plant.

We do not endorse the use of pyrethroid based insecticides due to their harmful effects to bees and other insects. 


Professional Management of OPM

Timing is key to the effective control and eradication of OPM, to ensure that the correct treatment is applied to coincide with the OPM life cycle.

During the course of our site visits, we have noted a marked increase in the spread of OPM throughout our operational area.

If you suspect that you have OPM present in Oak trees on your property, then please contact us for professional advice on how best to control this pest.




Connick Tree Care is certified to treat and manage OPM.

Advice on Autumn Pruning

Tree Consultancy

Recent Customer Feedback

"Very professional and courteous and tidied up well at the end of the job."

6th December - Resident of Worthing, West Sussex.

"Punctual, professional, polite, tidy, would recommend."

4th December - Resident of Brighton, East Sussex.

"Very satisfied with both the operatives and their work. Garden, path and drive clear when they left."

29th November - Resident of Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

"An excellent job, trees and shrubs pruned beautifully, ready for winter."

26th November - Resident of Brighton, East Sussex.

"A great job. My garden looks lovely. I will certainly use this company again."

15th November - Resident of Brighton, East Sussex.

"As on the previous occasion, my wife and I were both very impressed by the efficiency and politeness of your workmen."

10th November - Mr Moore, Wallington, Surrey.

"Did a good job on the pruning and removal of trees."

8th November - Resident of Brighton, East Sussex.

"Excellent service. Quick, friendly, listened to requirements. Left site very tidy and clean."

5th November - Resident of Hove, East Sussex.

"Very efficient, communicative and tidy group of workers, a great job and worked very hard."

1st November - Resident of Hove, East Sussex.

"Great care is always taken while pressuring the health of trees (mature) and shrubs. Many years of growth involved and respect to wild life."

1st November - Resident of Brighton, East Sussex.

"Very good - carried out safely and exactly as I wanted."

29th October 2018 - Mr Jerred, Horley, Surrey.

"Excellent service in everyway. Will definitely use again."

26th October 2018 - Resident of Sittingbourne, Kent.

"I had a very good service. The workmen were very good and cleared everything up at the end."

25th October 2018 - Mrs Cooper, Epsom, Surrey.

"Outstanding service from initial contact to departure. Very pleased with the standard of work and cleaned up everything before leaving."

22nd October 2018 - Resident of Haywards Heath, Mid Sussex.

"Excellent service from Connick. If you want your tree work done expertly, then these are without doubt the right people to choose."

21st October 2018 - Mr Rawles, Forest Hill, London.

"Great service, pretty happy guys with nice attitude. Very helpful and cleared up beautifully afterwards."

12th October 2018 - Resident of Hove, East Sussex.

"Very friendly and efficient guys. Very pleased."

12th October 2018 - Mr Every, London.

"Excellent job.Very professional and very friendly team."

5th October 2018 - Mr Strudwick, Horley, Surrey.

"The guys they sent were lovely.They did a great  job  and  worked so hard."

2nd October 2018 - Mrs O'Brien, Welling, Kent.

"Fantastic service."

27th September 2018 - Mr Pratt, Charlwood, Surrey.

"Highly professional, courteous and hard-working, arrived on time and at each stage of the job took trouble to discuss progress and the best options available. The cost was less than expected and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to Clients, friends and family. Excellent work."

18th September 2018 - Resident of Oxted, Surrey.

"The job was completed quickly and efficiently. All agreed work was carried out exactly as requested. The two operatives were friendly & helpful. The job site was left in immaculate condition; all waste was removed. I would have no hesitation in recommending Connick Tree Care."

18th September 2018 - Mr Taylor, Sutton, Surrey.

"We were very impressed with the Connick team. They were professional , polite and hardworking we would definitely recommend."

13th September 2018 - Mrs Thornton, Leatherhead, Surrey.

"The guys worked very hard and cleared up afterwards."

4th September 2018 - Mrs Lindley, Reigate, Surrey.

"Always impressed with quality of work and particularly how everything is tidied up so well."

3rd September 2018 - Mrs Copland, Purley, Surrey.

"The guys were great polite, cheerful and professional. Everything was cleared and it was a big job for the three of them. I am very happy with their work and would recommend highly. Thank you."

29th August 2018 - Mrs Bentham, Reigate, Surrey.

"The whole team were very efficient, professional and courteous. Richard was very knowledgeable and kept me appraised. We extremely pleased with the finished look of the trees."

13th July 2018 - Resident of Brighton, Sussex.

"Excellent job tackling very high branches with the 3 piece 5 metre telescopic pole."

13th July 2018 - Mr Dell, Guildford, Surrey.

"A very helpful and polite company."

12th July 2018 - Resident of Hassocks, West Sussex.

"As always good service. In this case they obtained council premise to remove the tree."

5th July 2018 - Resident of Worthing, West Sussex.

"Reduction of mature oak, logging and clear up. Excellent job. Thank you!"

2nd July 2018 - Resident of Arundel, West Sussex.

"The operator was polite, friendly, considerate, efficient, and did a good job using an impressive machine. He was very helpful and went the extra mile. The site was left in very good order. Just what I expect from Connick!"

30th June 2018 - Resident of Maidstone, Kent

"Good quote. Work done soon after acceptance. Excellent."

26th June 2018 - Resident of Hove, East Sussex

"Connick did a great job and cleared up thoroughly as well."

25th June 2018 - Ms Morton, Tooting, London

"Excellent, tidy, friendly and timely."

11th June 2018 - Resident of Crawley, West Sussex

"Could not have done a better job, on time, worth every penny, not a scrap of mess, just a space where the tree was."

6th June 2018 - Resident of Brighton, Sussex

"Have used many times in the past. Always efficient."

30th May 2018 - Mrs Brackenborough, West Norwood, London

"Friendly, efficient & knowledgable service. Cleaned up afterwards."

30th May 2018 - Mr Harris, New Malden, Surrey

"I had a team of six across our garden pruning trees and cleared up the garden better than it normally is. Each one of the six engaged me in conversation over the day of cutting."

18th May 2018 - Mr MacKenzie, Tadworth, Surrey

"Great job very professionally completed."

15th May 2018 - Mr Chandler, Stanton Construction, Reigate, Surrey

"Very considerate polite team, a pleasure to deal with. We would not hesitate to use them again."

23rd April 2018 - Resident of Hove, East Sussex

"Highly professional service with a reasonable price for a difficult job. Very pleased with result."

19th April 2018 - Resident of Lewes, East Sussex

"Very nice guys. They explained what they were going to do to meet our wishes, kept us informed from start to finish and cleared up very well after their work. Very satisfied with the results."

17th April 2018 - Mr Carey, Epsom, Surrey

"Quick, efficient service, reasonably priced. Very clean, no disruption to the house. It's the 2nd time I have used Connick. I will use you again. Thank you."

13th April 2018 - Mrs Brennan, Catford, London

"Absolutely fantastic service and consideration for the neigbours."

13th April 2018 - Mr Watson, Reigate, Surrey

"Very professional work."

13th April 2018 - Resident of Hove, East Sussex

"Very happy with the service, thank you."

25th March 2018 - Mr. Mills, Epsom, Surrey

"Many thanks for a job well done."

23rd March 2018 - Mr. Cohen, Sutton, Surrey

"Very polite. A really good job with no problems. I would definitely recommend."

21st March 2018 - Mr. Wheller, Horley, Surrey

"Many thanks, a very efficient service."

21st February 2018 - Mr. Smith, Sutton, Surrey

"I am very pleased with the recent work on my silver birch tree. They made an excellent job, very nice people and a reasonable price."

21st February 2018 - Mr. Green, Epsom, Surrey

"Excellent job in dire weather. The guys were cheerful and friendly and left the place as they found it (apart from the trees!). Many thanks."

19th February 2018 - Mr. Smillie, Tadworth, Surrey

"The guys were extremely helpful and pleasant and even arrived early which was great. They did exactly as we asked and we are delighted with the outcome. We would certainly recommend Connick Tree Care to others."

15th February 2018 - Mr. Shaw, Wimbledon, London

"The job was quick and well done. They completely cleared all rubbish away and left the garden as they found it. Great job!"

10th February 2018 - Resident of Hove, East Sussex

"Connick were on time and did an excellent job especially in view of the weather. I have used them a few times now and would recommend them very highly."

9th February 2018 - Mr. Keith, Reigate, Surrey

"Mark and Jack did a first class professional job. Both men polite friendly and very tidy. Both took a pride in their work. Very satisfied and would highly recommend Connicks."

8th February 2018 - Mrs. Clark, Wallington, Surrey

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