Diseases & Pests

Wasp Nest In Garden Trees: Everything You Need To Know

Knowing the ins and outs of the insects that can craft a home on your trees is an important part of maintaining the upkeep of healthy and functioning plant life. Wasps often live in your gardens and can be seen among the tree branches. Knowing more about a wasp’s behavior can help you keep safe in your garden. For any homeowner who owns a garden with trees, keeping on top of the ecosystem is vital. When a nest is spotted, people will rush to call for solutions.

Before you search to get this treated by a professional, read these facts.


So how do you know whether there is a wasp nest in your tree? Firstly, you need to know what you are looking for. Wasps can build their own structure or inhabit spaces such as hollowed trees or empty foxholes (to name a few locations).

Where there are no obvious structures that indicate a wasp nest in your garden, you can keep an eye out for consistent entry and exit points. Places in your tree where it seems as though wasps appear to be entering and exiting frequently. When wasps decide to pitch up their home on the branches of your tree, their nest will be easily distinguishable.

Mostly grey in color, they often look as though the grey paper has been stuck together. This then forms, what looks like, a small paper mache football. It is important that you catch the nest sooner rather than later. A nest can grow rapidly in size, over only a short period of time. So keep an eye out for these on the branches of your trees and watch a wasp’s flight patterns. This way you will identify when you may need to take action.

Dangers Of A Wasp Nest In Garden Trees

Wasps have accrued a rather fearsome reputation as one of the most aggressive and feared pests in the UK. There are people, such as those with allergies, children or the elderly, who are greater affected by a wasp sting. This is why, depending on how actively you use your garden, treating the nest is often the best solution. With greater activity in the garden, people come into contact with the tree that homes the wasp nest on a more frequent basis. And when a wasp becomes distressed, it is a bad sign.When aggravated, they emit a pheromone that signals nearby members of the colony. Wasps will then come flying from your tree to the defensive aid of their comrade.

If your trees bear any fruit, they are also at risk! Wasps will tend to burrow into the flesh of fruit such as pears and apples, to get to the sugary juices within. There is often little that you can do to combat this. Your only option is to pursue the removal of the entire nest from your garden tree.

Benefits Of A Wasp Nest In Your Garden Tree

For all the bad rep that these insects get, they do serve a purpose to the ecosystem in your garden. One of their primary food sources include caterpillars and other insects, which they feed to their grubs. A healthy population of wasps in your garden will help to keep the population of these pests from getting out of control. This will keep the leaves on your trees from being overrun and destroyed. Although this may not be a good enough reason to keep an active wasp nest in your tree, it at least gives you an understanding of their existence.

A small crumb of comfort to a recent sting victim, we know. Having said this, wasp nests in trees should only be removed if they pose a health and safety risk to the public. Which, in your garden, is often the case.

So, What Attracts A Wasp To Your Garden Tree In The First Place?

Besides the more obvious reasons such as easy access to set up a nest and easy food sources, there is another lesser-known reason. The reason you have a wasp nest on your garden tree often means you have an Aphid problem. Not a wasp problem.

What is an Aphid you may ask?

They are small insects that suck sap from the leaves of trees, particularly poplars, aspen trees, and evergreens. When they feed on the leaves they leave behind a sweet and sugary trail. This attracts the wasps to the tree and they begin to swarm towards it to feed on the honeydew. The Aphids are particularly fond of trees that have been weakened by under-watering, as the leaves are more rich in protein and a far more appealing meal. So, the best way to deter wasps from your trees is to treat the Aphids themselves. Therefore, a different treatment method will be needed.

Treatment For Your Trees

It is important to wait a short period of time before attempting to treat the nest. Nests can often move within the first 48 hours.  Regardless of the size of the wasp nest in your garden tree, when a Queen decides that they want to move the nest, the wasps listen. Usually, they will deem the environment to be unsatisfactory within the first 48 hours and move to a more suitable location. Where no nest is present, it indicates the wasps are swarming around your tree. Observation is needed, looking out for signs of a nest being built. But when you spot an obvious nest, establish that it has been active for some time, and deem it a health and safety risk, you need to act.

DIY solutions are never optimal. They put you at risk of aggravating the nest. Not to mention a few too many stings for anybody’s liking, also. Over-the-counter treatments are not as strong. They are not as effective as the chemicals that are used by trained pest controllers. It cannot be guaranteed that pesticide treatments will never cause any additional harm to non targeted insects, wildlife or plants. But treating with pesticides is not dangerous when controlled and undertaken by a professional.  The pesticides used are fast-acting, manufactured to eliminate the wasps and break down quickly. Pesticides are designed to cause as little effect to your trees as possible. Learn more about pesticides now!

To Conclude…

Hopefully, this article has shed some light on why, where and what wasps are doing in your trees. If you ever have any problems that you believe needs treating, remember to spot if there is a nest or entry point first.  Keep calm, stay clear, and if they do not move on, seek assistance to keep your mind at ease!


18 thoughts on “Wasp Nest In Garden Trees: Everything You Need To Know

  • Excellent post, I did not know half of that.

    • Will they make a best on green beans leaves?

    • Beverly Watkins

      Great I have one the tree belongs to the city thogh.

  • A lot of people mistake bees for wasps. Always worth finding a locally trained expert.

  • I definitely have a wasp nest hanging on a tree bough over my back yard. The tree trunk is in the city owned park behind my house. So…who has to get rid of this wasp nest. Me or the city?

  • jim Noland

    As others comment, thanks for the information–I’d always thought of wasps as just evil.

  • There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I like all of the points you’ve made.

  • Jeanipin

    We like our wasps, live in Hull UK, when in our small garden having lunch Al fresco, we always put a little food on the table for them if they come. Never have bothered us, even when they built a nest in our bird nest box. It was on the garage wall, near patio, I would stand watching them come and go, fascinating. They whizzed by over my shoulder, no bother. We would never harm them and wish wasp traps we’re banned. They frequent a conifer tree but not sure why, would be interested to find out

  • If the wasp nest is empty, dont pay somebody to remove it. They usually never come back to the same nest twice.

  • I wonder if sugar is just as damaging to insects as it is humans?

  • Viv King

    What if the tree is so dense you can’t see if there’s a nest?

  • Great article, thank you. We found an empty nest in the garden during the winter, didn’t take it down because we wanted to show it to the G’children, promptly forgot all about it, and now it is active again and has grown a little bit- as if the wasps have built an annexe. I hope to be able to leave it where it is for the Summer and then remove it next Winter. The wasps will help me with the greenfly on my beans in the meantime, and we’ll just be careful outside near them. Luckily no pets or resident children to worry about.


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