Brood X - Cicadas

Anyone in Brood X territory making preparations for protecting young trees? I made the mistake of back ordering a couple pears and a persimmon that will arrive in March. Looking at netting options to protect them and some of my young trees that are in the ground. If you have any mesh netting manufacturers that you recommend let us know here.

Last time Brood X emerged here in my corner of Maryland it was a plague for the ages.

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whoa, very scary.
It appears Brood X in middle TN was minimal last cycle. It was Brood XIX that most recently had a massive emergence in TN.
It seems to be thought Brood X will not be a big factor here, but i will look into it.
Last time with Brood XIX i had no fruit trees. Sounds like the damage can be severe; i will have to protect stuff if we expect any big emergence. Yuck.

The historical maps i’ve seen show a pretty strong presence of brood X in the Smokies but not much in Middle TN. I think your big 17 year brood might be XIV.

Not sure about where the highest intensity will be but I have read that Brood X is considered the biggest and most concentrated brood. “The Great Eastern Brood”.

Brood X looks like it is present in Maryland, Central PA, Western OH, Indiana, and the southern Blue Ridge.

The 17 year cicadas will hit Cincinnati, Oh this spring. My out door citrus trees are in greenhouse shelters and will be protected. My indoor citrus trees will have to remain indoors till the cicadas leave. I have thought about painting the undersides of all important branches to prevent their boring into the bark.

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Last time I covered small / medium size trees with remay type row covers tied at top and bottom, like a bag around the main branches. Sealed , in no woven fabric. This worked .
Expensive and time…
Can reuse fabric for garden beds. Winter protection . Etc.
Netting seamed less effective, not as useful to repurpose.
Bigger trees . Left unprotected . just tried to cut out the damage over ~ 3 yrs .
Seams like they prefer to lay their eggs under (into )
Pencil size or twice that size ,twigs, not bothering thumb size or bigger twigs.
The damage , a row of holes, under young twigs.often don’t heal well. Is week , harbors insects and disease.should be removed.
So yah…!
Pandemics …!
Plages of cicadas…!
Life is really interesting sometimes …!


I wonder if paint would be an effective deterrent. My uneducated guess is that it might not be. :frowning:

I was thinking of trying to keep a really heavy coat of surround on some small trees to see if it helps. Any thoughts on that approach?


Well I am uneducated too.

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I’m going to try mosquito barrier. Pretty cheap and i’ll use it all summer on some of my berries anyway.

These look awesome if you’ve got a bunch of cash that needs to be burned:


Another Brood X link - with a map, and a state/county list

So, this looks like east Tennessee and not middle Tennessee is where brood X emerges.

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Yep, the highest concentration for sure. Maybe some stragglers in middle TN.

Pretty good discussion here Brood X

I plan on walking my orchards every couple of days with a can of Sevin dust. Only have about 15-20 trees that I planted last fall that I’ll try to protect. We’ll see how that works. :slight_smile:

Spraying is not effective.
TOO many , they just keep coming .
On small trees , a bag made of remay , or other fine netting , ,Covering trees, is the way to go.


I didn’t get very many new trees this year for this reason, last time I had a bunch of young trees and they made a mess of it.

I agree that spraying doesn’t do much, unless you want to spray every couple of hours.

This year my Plan A is to coat the trees with Surround, in particular the undersides of the pencil-sized shoots they prefer, and hope they decide to fly elsewhere. If that is not working I will wrap all the younger trees in row cover and give up on the older trees.

Here is a study on Surround where it reduced by half: PREVENTING PERIODICAL CICADA DAMAGE TO NURSERY STOCK IN THE FOOTHILLS OF NORTH CAROLINA. My guess is they didn’t hit the undersides as well as they could have, I hope I can do better than 50%.


Super helpful to have some evidence on Surround efficacy- thanks!

I’ll protect with some mesh fabric where I can and try surround other areas, but I’m wondering about three things and am curious if others have thoughts/strategies on them.

For grafting: I’m wondering about grafting this year. Specifically I’m planning on grafting some plums and pawpaws on in-ground trees. Do I wait until the cicadas have come and gone and cut away damaged wood to graft onto good wood, even if it might be a bit late for some trees? I can’t imagine having the things attacking recently grafted branches, either the stock or the scion, and the grafts growing and thriving. Of course I can try to protect them, but depending on the tree that may be tough. Thoughts on this? Also, will they attack new grafts growing or do they only go after more lignified wood making recently growing grafts “safe” if they are on larger wood with bark grafts, etc.?

For fruit this year: I haven’t finished all my pruning yet and I’m wondering if we will lose fruit as well this year and maybe I should prune off thinner wood with buds in favor of larger spurred wood they might not go after. @scottfsmith , do you remember losing fruit from the wood being weakened?

For fruit next year: Does it make sense to immediately prune off damaged/weak wood as soon as they are gone to give the tree time to have another good flush and develop new undamaged fruiting wood for 2022?

I know it is probably all a big experiment, but I didn’t have trees and didn’t even really garden back then, but I do remember how much damage we had to a young Japanese maple and some smaller trees.

It should be easy to wrap grafts, there is not much wood to wrap. They don’t attack green wood.

I didn’t have much fruiting in the last wave in 2004 so not much data on that. Re: pruning the main thing is to not prune as hard as you might otherwise. I am going to finish my pruning after the deluge so I can keep the undamaged and remove the damaged.

Last time I pruned off most of the damaged wood, I only kept the things that were key scaffolds. They all healed up OK, it doesn’t set the tree back as much as you might think.

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I didn’t even think of this when I ordered my haskaps, gooseberries and black raspberries to plant this spring. will they bother new plants like these? I’ve read that they only lay eggs in brown wood but I guess I’m hoping the stems will be mostly green and they will be avoided by the cicadas. thoughts?