Help me identify this tree problem

Hello,
I recently returned from a year of military duty and found my poor neglected
fledgling orchard in southwest Ohio has been seriously afflicted by some
type of a problem other than the expected deer damage and mouse girdling. I
was gone all last year, so the trees got no care whatsoever during that
time. Hopefully this is a common problem (and therefore will have a well
known solution), but I have not had any luck in identifying it. I work and
getting to the county extension office would be a bit of a pain, so I
thought the experts in this forum could probably identify my issue with a
glance. The problem affects many types of trees and is very widespread.
The symptoms are that the bark on the smaller branches and twigs appears to
be 'split', for a few to up to 16 or so inches in length. Affected branches
are mostly under about a half inch in diameter. There are actually wood
fibers protruding from the areas of split bark. The bark has grown up
around the split, indicating the problem probably occurred in the spring and
the branch continued to grow at a normal or nearly normal rate. The problem
seems to be affected by the sun as all the splits are on the undersides or
on the north sides of the branches. In my orchard nearly 100% of my 30 or
so trees are affected, including apple, plum, pear, peach, birch, and
cherry. Curiously I have one north star cherry which does not appear to
have the problem. Maple and birch trees are also affected along with some
of the native brush I cannot give the proper name for. Nut trees, cedars,
Osage (hedgewood), cottonwood, and sycamore do not appear to be affected. I
cannot find any evidence of insect damage, and the fact that the problem
appears on the shaded side of the branch leads me to suspect some type of
fungal rot, but I would like to pinpoint the exact type if possible.
Check out some pictures at
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help in identifying this would be appreciated. Any treatment ideas
would be welcome also, but once I can identify the problem I can probably
find the cure on the web or in the literature.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Brian
Reply to
Brian Allen
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Good day Brian. Glad to see you made it back, hope you get to stay now.
You have a really strange problem runing through your orchard. I looked at your pics and then I hit the books. At first, I thought you maybe seeing the effects of bark blast due to freezing temps, but then I re-read your post and seen that you stated that all affected limbs were north facing. Winter damage is generally south western in it direction. After looking through my master gardeners hand-outs, I went over to the hortsense site.
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would suspect that your trees are being affected anthracnose. Take a peek at the hortsence site and see if it looks right to you. Here's the direct link to the page in question:
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, it's a large link address. The hortsense site uses frames so linking to pages is a bit of a bugger.
Generally the ag office also houses the master gardeners office also. The masters are volunteers and I'm sure someone would stop by your place and take a peek for you. Or you could drop off some samples for the ag office on your way to work ..ect. Take a gander at the warren county ag & natural resources page to get their contact info.
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luck.
Reply to
Timothy
I would need to see a more close up picture to be sure, but the girdling could be caused by cicadas or tree hoppers. They both cause damage when they lay eggs under the bark. Since the damage is on several different species of trees, I would say it is probably not caused by a pathogen. I know Ohio was one of the states affected heavily by the periodical cicadas last year, maybe try googleing and find some pictures to compare yours with.
Toad
Reply to
Marley1372
That's what came to mind when I looked at the pictures: cicadas.
(The damage looks very similar to the damage I get on raspberry canes when tree crickets lay eggs in them.)
Reply to
Pat Kiewicz
I took a look at some photos showing cicadia damage, and I think that is what I have. I wasn't here to see the hatch, but my neighbors said they were everywhere, so it makes sense that I would have some damage. Most of my trees are quite small
Reply to
Brian Allen
Without seeing the photos, it certainly would appear to be cicada egg-laying damage.
-- David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7) email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
Reply to
David J Bockman
Upon examination of the photos, it is undoubtedly cicada damage.
-- David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7) email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
Reply to
David J Bockman
> I took a look at some photos showing cicadia damage, and I think that is > what I have. I wasn't here to see the hatch, but my neighbors said they > were everywhere, so it makes sense that I would have some damage. Most of > my trees are quite small
Reply to
Wes Wilson
Since observing this bird doing this and later seeing it revisit and apparently 'inspect' these same areas for tidbits of food - I tend to think that perhaps the sapsucker is creating an inviting place of false
security for insects. Whose eggs, larva or bodies it might later come upon and perhaps 'harvest' as food. So perhaps the damage they apparently cause may be balanced somehow by them eating potentially even more 'damaging' parasitic insects? Do keep in mind however that I'm not an expert on this and this is just a rather 'lay' opinion. Perhaps now someone else will comment about their experiences? Good luck! - Wes/MO
Good observation, Wes. Yes, sapsuckers will drill a small hole called a "well" in the bark. The well fills up with sap, which attracts insects. Then the bird returns and licks up sap and insects. Very clever!! Helathy plants can withstand sapsucker wells.
Emilie Nor Cal
Reply to
mleblanca

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