Q: My loropetalum has several dying limbs. I had assumed that it had simply been stung by cold weather. However it appears I have some type of critter munching on its bark. Is there treatment or should I just start all over again? What did this?
A: At first I was certain that this was crown gall, Agribacterium tumiefacens, a bacterial disease that affects oaks trees and several other plants.
But Jim Jacobi, Extension Plant Pathology Specialist at Auburn University says:
The pictures look similar to what I and a few other pathologists have seen in the last few years. We have tentatively identified the bacteria Pseudomonas savastanoi, as the cause of the problem. This bacteria causes galls and knots on oleander, olive and other plants.