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Question: 416-3410
My Japanese Crabapple has very few leaves. I spotted a small crack in the bark near the ground. Would this be the problem? Francis, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Earwigs invade the bark in the slightest of openings. They build their nests in the cambium inside the bark. The fibrovascular tubes that take the water and nutrient to the leaves and other stems gets cutoff and the tree eventually dies. You need tree surgery. An arborists or tree surgeon in your area can perform the necessary procedure to save the tree, if the entire bark has not been girdled. You can try yourself, if you are confident to try. You will need a leaf shaped cut that is continuous from top to bottom. Start at the top with a razor knife. Go as wide as necessary to encompass all the brown wood. Continue down on one side without any damaged edges. At the bottom of the brown area , you will need to make a leaf shaped point and continue back up the other side. Continue until you make a point at the top. Scrape the inside until you reach white wood just as you did with sides. Dab the interior with malathion or sevin. Cover the wound with tree seal or tree wax.

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