Vertical splits on woody stems

hoovb zone 9 sunset 23December 27, 2004

I often see vertical splits on the stems (canes) of roses, especially when the cane is very large and fast growing. Does anyone know what causes this and what this phenom is called? Is it because one layer of the stem can't keep up with the other layers, or is it a bacterial or viral infection or ...? Thank you.

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serenoa(z8b, FL)

At first, I was going to say something about uneven watering and the rapid swelling of stems when water is abundant after a prolonged dry spell. This can be a problem with a variety of plants in Florida. Then the image popped up. The injury looks more like the results of egg-laying by a cicada.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2004 at 5:21PM
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No cicadas here in California, I'd go with the first diagnosis (doesn't the damage look more uniform than what would be expected with insect damage?).


    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 12:50AM
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serenoa(z8b, FL)

Ryan is right. I checked my books and searched for information on the web about insect egg-laying in woody plants. Nothing I can find matches the damage in the image above. I have seen this damage occasionally and pruned it off under what seems to have been an incorrect assumtion. One additional thought, could this be physical damage caused by a thorn on another stem - maybe when wind blows them against one another?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 7:28AM
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No Cicadas in California ??? .. We have them here in Southern Nevada and they do damage Roses ... can't say for sure what is causing this but here is some Cicada damage. Not sure what plant this is on but if the damage was a bit milder and the plant healed a bit I would say this is matches the damage posted above.

Heck but if there not in California .. can't be them .. right ? Hard to believe there are none in California.

North American Cicada Species

Good Day ...

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 10:19AM
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Wait just a second, there ARE cicadas in MOST of California, excepting the northern coastal areas. An entire book has been published about them (see Optional Link URL below). In Southern California, the Okanagana predominate, in Northern California, there are Okanagana and Tibicen in many areas and Platypedia at higher altitudes. They are smaller than eastern varieties and are not as boisterous, but on hot summer nights in Rio Linda and elsewhere in the central valley, the chorus is almost as loud as anywhere in Missouri or Texas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cicadas of California by John N. Simons

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 5:37PM
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It's been a while since I checked this page. I stand corrected regarding the presence of cicadas in California (I ought to have known better than to accept conventional wisdom on that score: many people will say there are no chiggers in California, but they can be found a few miles to my east).


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:23PM
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