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Gardening advice on dried-up mesquite tree leaves

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: October, 2013, Page 119



ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - Our mesquite trees have dried-up leaves on the ends of their limbs. What causes this?

A - University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Linda Drew has seen similar symptoms on her mesquite trees, and says it is the work of the mesquite twig girdler (Oncideres rhodosticta), a longhorn beetle. In the process of creating a place to deposit eggs, the female beetle chews a groove completely around the tips of branches. This girdling causes the foliage to die, which is the result you are seeing. However, overall damage to the tree is insignificant and no treatment is required. Think of it as light pruning.
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