A Pruner, a Girdler and a ?

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We have a dawn redwood tree in our backyard

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that my mother gave us years ago. These pictures were taken the end of November.

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I found several twigs on the ground under the tree.

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What “cut” the twigs from the tree, and how did they do it to make the end look like that?

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There are tree pruner insects. A full-grown twig pruner chews through the wood from the inside out. This leaves a smooth cut on the inside of the twig. The ragged edge results from the twig breaking.

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This broken twig resulted from a female tree girdler chewing a v-shaped groove around the twig. The small larva overwintered in the fallen twig.

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The ones off the redwood tree don’t look like the work of a girdler or a pruner.

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It will probably remain a mystery … unless I find another clue in the future.



15 responses to this post.

  1. Have you considered porcupines? They trim branches this size off evergreens and drop them to the ground.


  2. Most interesting, I hope you solve the mystery.


  3. Deer can’t bite cleanly through twigs and often leave a ragged edge, but only on one side of the twig, and the twig isn’t usually bigger than a pencil.


  4. Fascinatingb but I’m of no help.


  5. Interesting! Love a mystery!


  6. Posted by Therese on February 9, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    How about a nickname, Kurious Kathy? (I thought the “K” worked better than “c”.


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