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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

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This page was updated September 2009

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ANSWER: Damage from Twig Girdlers

About Twig Girdlers

Branches that fall from trees in late summer and fall are often damaged by twig girdlers. These grayish-brown, stout-bodied, longhorn beetles are 3/4" long. In late summer female beetle begin feeding on branches, and girdle them by making smooth cuts all the way around the twig. The damage looks like beaver damage, but in miniature. Very common in oak, also found in persimmon, pecan, elm, hickory, honeylocust, hackberry, poplar, linden, redbud, basswood, dogwood and various fruit trees. Eggs are then deposited in the twig section that has been cut off. Often branches damaged in this way will remain on the tree until broken off by wind, giving a jagged appearance to the stub end. Heavily infested mature trees can look ragged, young trees can be deformed by repeated attack.

Chemical control is not practical. Remove and discard fallen twigs before next spring.

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