Q: Many of our dogwood trees seem to be ‘afflicted’ and have no bloom buds on them this year. There are many swollen nodules toward the tips of the branches where the blooms should be. What is the problem and how can I prevent it in the future?
A: Your dogwoods are ‘afflicted’ with dogwood club gall midge. It’s a tiny fly that lays her eggs in the leaf buds in spring. In response to the feeding of the larva, a gall forms at the tip or along the stem. The gall may cause twigs or flower buds to die. In early fall, the larvae exit the gall and drop to the ground, where they spend the winter.
The best control for the insect is simple: cut off twigs with galls and remove them from your property before fall.