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Anna, Biologist, Gardening Expert
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 11510
Experience:  I am a biologist with experience in water gardening, and growing trees, ornamental plants, and vegetables.
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The leaves and stems are coming down like rain on my beautiful,

Customer Question

The leaves and stems are coming down like rain on my beautiful, big black walnut tree and it's only May!! What can I do??? I don't want to lose this tree!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in trees. I'm sorry to hear of this problem with your walnut. Some additional information will be useful.
Look at a few of the fallen stem. On the end where they were attached to the tree, do you see slightly ragged edges? Is there a tiny hole going up through the broken off stem?
Thank you.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hi again. It appears you went offline without seeing my request for more information. So you won't have to wait any longer, I'm going to go ahead and answer without knowing that.

The most likely culprit is a pest called the butternut curculio. The larvae burrow into the stems. In the spring when they are ready to emerge, they chew their way back out, but now they're big enough to do some damage. The stems and leaves break off and fall to the ground. If you look closely, you can see where they burrowed out.

These pests will not kill the tree, and by the time the leaves begin falling, any damage they have done is over with. There's nothing you can do about them at that point. The Extension Service simply recommend s watering during dry spells to help the tree grow new leaves. Some years, like this one, the curculios are especially bad, while other years, there are very few.You can confirm all that I've told you here:

The information there pertains to all states, not just Michigan. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY.


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