Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Seige Continues

The plague of cicadas is past but our trial isn't over yet.

For the past couple of weeks, small branches have been falling from the giant oak tree in our front yard. Squirrels, I decided. Paul mowed them all up, only to find the yard covered again the next morning. No rain, no wind, no audible overnight squirrel party. Just dozens and dozens of small branches on the lawn.

Phase two, larger branches up in the tree are beginning to die. Fresh green leaves, newly full-sized and still with the brightness of spring about them are turning brown and shriveling up. Soon these larger branches, too, will fall.

Has our tree contracted some dread disease? Perusal of our other two pin oaks, the golden maple, several large evergreens that anchor our lot, and the littered lawns of our neighbors, show that all the big old oaks in the neighborhood are experiencing the same problem to various extents.

Our shady subdivision would look very strange without its gorgeous cover. Plus these huge trees would be very expensive to remove. But before I begin to panic I key one more search into my friend Google.


Apparently, "the female cicada cuts into tender twigs to lay her eggs." This can cause smaller or heavily attacked branches to die but large, hearty, healthy trees shouldn't be at risk of destruction from cicadas.

Hopefully the oak trees will be back to their usual glory next year. And my children will be 20, 17, and 13 when this particular cicada infestation returns.


Kathy G said...

Aha! Now I know why I'm seeing so many downed leafy branches. Thanks for saving me the trouble of doing my own Google search.

Sarahlynn said...

I hope I'm right! I suppose I should call the county tree expert to ask, but I'm not good at doing that sort of thing.