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The Twig Girdler
The "Twig Girdler", however, is not the culprit littering our New England lawns this summer with the small leafy branches of Red Oaks. Rather, this is being caused by the "Twig Pruner", which will be described next month in Splendid Splinters.
But getting back to the "Twig Girdler", the full grown larvae are about 18mm long with adult girdlers measuring 15mm and grayish brown in color with fine golden hairs on the front of its head. The adults emerge in late summer and feed on the bark and tips of its host, girdling and severing dozens of branches in heavily infected trees. Because leaves die off but the branches hold on for extended periods, the tree assumes a shabby appearance. The best way to control the pest is to gather and burn the infected twigs and branches during the fall and winter.
© 2002 by David Mather. All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author.