Cicadas!

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I was out watering my trees and my neighbor came over and asked what I planned on doing about the cicadas. I responding with a dumb look on my face and something along the lines of "huhwhut?"

Anyways apparently the little buggers started coming out of the ground earlier this week. Will this turn out to be a plague on my trees (ie is this going to be a major problem?) My google-fu tells me to use netting which seems like a less than perfect solution since I like to actually look at my trees. Are there any other preventative measures that I could use?
 

Brian Underwood

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They will not feed on your trees, the sole purpose of adult cicadas is to reproduce. The egg laying process is what your concerned with as the female will lay eggs in a branch, splitting it open and killing it. Maybe go with a broad spectrum spray? Sevin by Bayer is what I use for most things, but I'm not sure about the cicadas. I'm sure there are others with more experience. Good luck.
 

Thomas J.

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I have been doing bonsai here in Tx for 20 yrs and those guys are all over here especially in mid July when that's all you hear, and have never had one anywhere near any of my trees. I seriously doubt you'll have anything to worry about when it comes to cicadas.

My biggest problem is fire ants that will come over night and set up shop in one of my pots, and I'm talking hundreds if not thousands of them just like that. Then it's emergency repot time, and even then I've never lost a tree.:)
 

rockm

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Cicadas are harmless to trees once they are out of the ground. The insect's larva connects itself to tree roots underground once the adults lay eggs. Once mature, the larva emerges from the ground, repeat cycle.

Cicadas are unlikely to lay eggs on your bonsai. The soil is too shallow and porous. In any case, even if you did get one, it's unlikely to do much damage to your tree, even if it survives in bonsai soil for long. The trees in the ground around you have probably supported thousands of larva and probably are no worse for the wear.

The biggest "danger" of a cicada invasion is slipping the goo left by thousands of the dead ones once they start dieing off.

AFTER WRITING THE ABOVE, I remembered that cicadas CAN cause some damage to your trees, but it still unlikely. During the last "blast" we had here with cicadas about 13 years ago, there was some concern among bonsaiists that there would be problems. Cicadas do have long snouts they use to sip tree sap and females split branches to lay eggs. They did all this last time and I didn't have any problems with that behavoir on my bonsai. I have a feeling bonsai aren't substantial enough for them to bother with--maybe bigger bonsai might present a target, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about it.
 
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DMBillies

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I'm new here and actually found my way here due to the cicadas in TN. They mostly left alone my trees, but they seemed to be particularly attracted to a japanese maple I have (and I know that they LOVE bradford pears, but I don't have a bonsai of those, I just know they swarmed to the ones in our neighborhood).

Probably 8-10 of them laid eggs in my jap maple all along the trunk and upper limbs. The only other tree they touched was a small elm, and only one or two of them laid eggs there. The tree seems to be recovering ok (at least the outbreak ended at least a couple of weeks ago and the tree does not seem to be going downhill despite the heat of summer setting in), but it is pretty clear that the marks will take a long time to heal if they ever heal completely. Hopefully it just adds some character...

I am pretty surprised by the extent to which they split the limbs and dig in to lay their eggs. I could see an already stressed tree not responding well at all.
 
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you should of told him to keep those things in his yard !!!
 
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