Return to the Botany Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Vertical splits on woody stems

Posted by HoovB z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 27, 04 at 17:00

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Vertical splits on woody stems

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.

RE: Vertical splits on woody stems

  • Posted by SoCal23 USDA10/Sunset23 (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 31, 04 at 0:50

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?).


RE: Vertical splits on woody stems

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?

RE: Vertical splits on woody stems

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.

Cicada Damage

North American Cicada Species

Good Day ...

RE: Vertical splits on woody stems - CICADAS

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

RE: Vertical splits on woody stems

  • Posted by socal23 USDA10/Sunset23 (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 2, 07 at 17:23

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).


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Botany Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here