If Only We Could Learn From Trees

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2013

So, the reason leaves, oak leaves mostly, suddenly seemed to go all winter on us is the 17-year cicadas laying eggs within the thin bark of the trees' outer branches.

Whole sections of mostly summer-looking trees with patches of January and February because, as the Virginia Department of Forestry pointed out, the female cicadas lay their eggs within those vulnerable branches by slicing into the plant tissue, each sliced area holding up to 20 eggs and causing structural damage. The result is called “flagging” or “twig dieback.”

Amazingly, the flagging won't wave forever. Twig liveback, a totally unofficial term, is also a phenomenon.

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“Although it may be hard for some to believe now,” Dr. Chris Asaro, Virginia Department of Forestry forest health specialist revealed, “most trees will shed the damaged twigs and replace the lost foliage, appearing normal within a month or two.”

The trees have already begun to shed their dead baggage.

If only it were that easy for us to turn over a new leaf and leave our hurts behind.