Rodent damage to plants

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Sudden die off in your landscape plants is usually blamed on a fungal disease attack.  This is not always the case and if a fungus is present, the fungus is not usually the initial problem.

Rodents can cause basal stem injury (as seen below) killing the plant by removing excessive amounts of cambium effectively girdling the stem and causing plant dieback.  Depending upon the severity of the damage, these plants usually do not recover. ]

Since the rodent gnawing opens bark, it can allow pathogens to infect further weakening the plant.  In the photo below, crown gall has infected the stem where it was damaged by chewing.

Control of the rodents is the only preventative measure.

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