Web-like covering of tree has locals scratching their heads

IT’S a sight that has baffled passers by and sent amateur gardening enthusiasts rushing for their reference books.

The cause of all the head-scratching is a tree on the Kilraughts Road in Ballymoney (just yards after the roundabout at Trolans supermarket) which is covered in a spiker’s like web, only much stronger with clumps of insects attached in parts.

The Times was alerted to the story by local man Francis McCaw who first spotted the phenomenon when out walking with his wife.

“I had never seen anything like this before. The tree seems dead and I can only think it must have been these strange looking little insects spinning some sort of web that has caused the problem,” Francis said.

The insects in question are just about larger than a pin and are black in colour. They have appeared in clusters and the web and the insects have also partly enveloped a hedge just below the tree.

Francis says he has asked locals and they have no idea what it is or what the strong web-like substance is.

“I’m sure it’s something that could easily be explained away by some horticulturist but I certainly have no idea,” he added.

That was the case with a number of other people we spoke to. They had never encountered anything like it but agreed that it was probably nothing out of the ordinary.

If anyone can shed light on the matter we would like to hear from them. Email news@ballymoneytimes.co.uk or call 028 276 66216.