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Content tagged with "branch flagging"

Branch flagging on chinquapin oak

Branch Flagging

Branch flagging on chinquapin oak.

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Photo of tree-branch flagging

Branch Flagging Slide Show

This tree displays branch flagging, which can have many causes. In this case, female periodical cicadas cut the tree's twigs with their ovipositors in the process of laying their eggs. The small cuts weakened the twigs, which turned brown, then broke during strong winds.

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Photo of tree-branch flagging

Broken Twig Syndrome?

Have you found yourself picking up broken tree branch tips from your lawn recently, only to find your lawn cluttered with them again the next day?

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Branch flagging on chinquapin oak

Brown patches in trees may be result of cicadas, scale insects

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Egg-laying and feeding behavior of these insects damages individual tree branches.

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Photo of fallen brown tree branch

Fallen Flagged Branch

Weakened by female periodical cicadas depositing their eggs, these brown branches fell during high winds.

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Photo shows female periodical cicada cutting slits along a tree branch

Female Cicadas Cause Branch Flagging

Female periodical cicadas make small cuts along twigs and deposit their eggs in the slits, which look like a kind of “zipper line” on the twig. Winds break the weakened twigs, and litter yards with small branches. On mature, vigorous trees, the cicada-caused wounds will heal, and branches will continue growing.

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Kermes Scales on Oak

Kermes scales are not your typical-looking insects. They are tan to reddish brown spheres up to 1/4-inch diameter and attach to twigs in the oak family, especially post oaks.

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Photo of tree-branch flagging

Tree-Branch Flagging

Insects, diseases or weather-related injury can cause branches to break and droop. Learn how to identify the causes and what you can do to treat it.

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Twig Girdler Cuts

These twigs show evidence of twig girdlers. To deposit her eggs, the adult female first chews a V-shaped groove around a twig, girdling it, and then inserts eggs in the bark toward the end of the branch. Winds eventually break twigs at the cut.

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Photo shows twig cut by twig pruner larvae

Twig Pruners Damage

Among twig pruners, it is the larvae that make the most damaging cut. Twig pruner female adults deposit eggs near a twig tip, and larvae tunnel inside the branch toward its base. When larvae are full-grown, they cut through all the wood at one place inside the twig, leaving only the outer bark intact. The branch eventually breaks at that point.

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