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Q: Insect Damage to Redbud ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Insect Damage to Redbud
Category: Family and Home > Gardening
Asked by: cary-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 23 Jul 2002 08:53 PDT
Expires: 22 Aug 2002 08:53 PDT
Question ID: 44146
I am trying to determine what is causing damage to a young redbud tree
that I have.  The tree is approximately 8 foot high.  Near the trunk
of the
tree, on several branches, appear slits that run from 3/4" to 1 1/2"
in length.  On one branch, three slits, each about 2" long and no more
than 1/8" wide appear "around" the branch parallel to branch growth. 
Another branch has small slits for about 15".  These slits are not
connected, and don't look
like cicada damage.  I have three digital images I can send.  Also,
under a magnifying glass I can see small critters that look like ticks
scurrying about under fresh bark near the wounds.  I don't know
whether these are insects infecting the decaying wood after the
initial damage, or are the cause of the damage.  These insects look
like tiny (1/8") ticks.

Cary Africk

Request for Question Clarification by knowledge_seeker-ga on 23 Jul 2002 09:02 PDT
Hi cary,

I'm going to start looking into your question. Perhaps while I'm doing
that you can post your digital pictures on a website for me to take a
look at.  Thanks. --K~

Clarification of Question by cary-ga on 23 Jul 2002 09:35 PDT

I can e-mail them to you -- I'm not sure where/how to post them to a
web-site.  Thanks!

Request for Question Clarification by knowledge_seeker-ga on 23 Jul 2002 09:51 PDT
Oh, sorry. There's no way for you to email them as I'm not allowed to
give you my email address. That's ok, I'm pretty sure I can do this
without the pics.

Let me just make sure I understand one point .. some of the slits wrap
around the branch, like a bracelet?

One further thing - Can you give me a general idea of the region where
you live? US? State? Country?

Thanks. K~

Clarification of Question by cary-ga on 23 Jul 2002 10:24 PDT
The slits are parallel to the branch, NOT like a bracelet.  I live in
Northern N.J.  Thanks!

Subject: Re: Insect Damage to Redbud
Answered By: knowledge_seeker-ga on 23 Jul 2002 11:13 PDT
Hi cary, 

Well, based on what you've told me, I can give you several options on
what your Redbud Tree is suffering from. I've provided a selection of
sites below that give good descriptions of the insect and disease
damage, as well as some good illustrations for you to use as


There are three main diseases of redbud: leaf anthracnose,
Mycosphaerella cercidicola, Botryosphaeria canker, and Verticillium
wilt (6). The most serious is the canker Botryosphaeria ribis or its
variety chromogena.

[note the photo on the right]

Numerous wood borers have been found in redbud. Agrilus otiosus, three
species of Hypothenemus, three species of Micracis, two species of
Microcisella, Pityophthorus lautus, Ptosima gibbicollis, and Thysanoes
fimbricornis all inhabit portions of the wood of redbud.

Good photos of flatheaded borer damage --
The beetle involved is a flatheaded borer. The adult beetle of this
family lays eggs on the bark where stress has caused it to thin and

Wood boring beetles

Xylosandrus compactus, bores in the twig of many species of trees in
Florida; but dogwood, redbud and magnolia seem especially susceptible.


These guys make the "bracelet" grooves I was mentioning earlier.
Probably not  exactly your parasite, but check them out just in case.

"The twig girdler, Oncideres cingulata, and twig pruner,
Elaphidionoides villosus, can be problems in nurseries and landscapes.
The main difference between these two pests is that girdlers cause
damage when adults sever a twig from the outside, whereas pruner
damage occurs when the larvae sever the twig from the inside. Both the
twig girdler and pruner attack a variety of trees including elm, oak,
linden, honeylocust, hackberry, redbud, poplar, sweetgum, and
sassafras. Branches up to 3 feet long may drop from the tree because
of attack by these insects.


[scroll down this page for damage photos]

Twig girdler (Oncideres cingulata) - 
"Biology: The adult beetle is about three-fourths of an inch long,
stout, grayish-brown with a lighter colored band across its elytra
(wing covers) and has antennae as long as its body.


"Borer damage should not be confused with woodpecker damage.
Woodpeckers make small V-shaped impact holes. There is no tunnel and
the holes do not bend, turn, or "go anywhere." The yellowbellied
sapsucker, a type of woodpecker, makes a series of such horizontal
marks and, upon superficial examination, may give the "shot hole"
appearance of some borer damage."

Yellow bellied sapsuckers drill holes that ring a tree, and if close
enough together can give the impression of a trench or tunnel. They
are generally confined to the trunk and large branches however.


For information regarding your specific problem, you should contact
your County Cooperative Extension Service. These folks will have all
of the information you need for diagnosis and treatment and it will be
specific to your area. They may even be able to send someone out to
look at your tree.

I hope this has narrowed down your tree's problem. I would highly
recommend you contact the Cooperative Extension. I've used them as a
resource for several tree-related problems in the past (in NY, CO, and
MD) and have always found them to be knowledgeable and helpful.

Oh, and by the way, thank you for introducing me to a tree I had never
heard of before! How beautiful!

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