Dying Cedar Trees

Asked June 10, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT

We have property between Blanco and Wimberley. A month ago we were out and nothing looked unusual, last week we went out and cedar trees are dead or dying across the property. It is amazing to see such a change in 3 weeks. Someone said it is a worm that only impacts the cedar trees. Can you shed light on this and should we be concerned about our oak trees?
Thank you.

Blanco County Texas

1 Response

June 16, 2014 ESSM 3

Dear Blanco County: Per your request for information on the death occurrence of ashe juniper between Blanco and Wimberly, I have made a few inquiries. I first contacted Ron Billings with the Texas Forest Service and here is his response.

" This could be a case of juniper budworms, which reached outbreak levels in Travis, Williamson and some adjacent counties in 2014. These defoliators don’t usually kill the trees, but their damage is unsightly. See http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/main/popup.aspx?id=1203 . I’ll pass your inquiry on to Robert Edmonson, our biologist in Johnson City who covers Blanco County to see if he knows of any other forest health problems with Ashe junipers".

Then Robert Edmonson with the Texas Forest Service responded with this:

It is indeed drought related. The juniper budworms are taking advantage of weakened defenses of ashe juniper. Blanco and Comal counties are especially hard-hit."

I hope this information will give you insight into the situation. Also I hope you will visit the website that Ron Billings noted above. Thanks.

Barron S. Rector, Associate Professor and Extension Range Specialist
Ecosystem Science and Management Department, TAMU