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Virginia foresters say cicada outbreak damaging trees

Published On: Jun 20 2013 03:50:18 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 20 2013 04:25:29 PM EDT
Cicadas taking a rest

Virginia forestry officials are reporting widespread damage to oaks and other trees from this year's arrival of cicadas.

The Virginia Department of Forestry says the damage is the result of cicada females laying eggs in the thin-barked outer branches of trees and shrubs. The females slice into the branch, then deposit up to 80 eggs.

Forest health specialist Chris Asaro said a single female can create about 30 nests, laying as many as 600 eggs.

The egg-laying can cause structural damage known as "flagging." The flagging is visible across much of the state's Piedmont and coastal plain.

Forestry officials say most medium to large trees will not suffer any serious long-term damage.

The department says the good news is, the next cicada outbreak won't occur for another 17 years.

Click here to read more about cicadas.