Twig Girdlers Love Pecans


If you have a pecan tree anywhere around your home, you’ve probably noticed branches that look like someone scored them around and around with a pocketknife.

Indeed, they were scored around and around, but not with a knife. This is the work of a twig girdler. She’s a large beetle that lays her eggs into the surface of young branches, then cuts the rings through the wood. As the branch dies, the larvae live within the decaying tissues. The branch falls to the ground and the larvae eventually emerge as adult beetles to fly, mate and start the process all over again.

Twig girdlers also attack other trees, but none so commonly as pecans. The good news is that they don’t do any major damage to the trees. New growth is quickly produced around the severed branch. And, the other good news is that there isn’t anything you can spray for them anyway. Pick up the fallen branches and destroy them. It won’t “cure” the problem, but it will cut into their populations for the next generation.

So the photo I took for my own personal enjoyment (I have simple tastes) turns out to be a source of an e-gardens lesson as well.

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top