Q: In February I found a strange tent-shaped attachment on a stem of my tulip tree (saucer magnolia). It is brownish and feels like Styrofoam but it will not peel off from the stem.
Are these something that need to be removed? If so, I will have to cut the branch off to remove it and the tree is all set up to bloom shortly.
A: Wow – it’s a praying mantis egg case and it’s huge! Lots of little mantids are inside, waiting to hatch.
I recommend you leave it in place. Mantises are beneficial insects and do no harm to people.
The insects will hatch in April. Keep your eyes peeled for them perched on the ends of twigs nearby, looking for a nice bug to eat.