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Blueberries: Canes are physically damaged (chewed, gnawed, etc.)

Individual canes may be wilting, collapsing, dead, or turning brown.

Physical injuries to canes may be caused by:

These wounds may provide a point of entry for cane diseases such as Fusicoccum or Phomopsis Canker.

Farm machinery operation

Mechanical injuries frequently occur during farm machinery operation in blueberry plantings. These most commonly result from harvester operation, but may also occur during operation of other kinds of equipment such as mowers, tractors, or sprayers.

High winds

High winds may have a damaging effect on blueberry plantings, causing canes to be broken, as well as premature fruit and leaf drop.

Hail

Hail is damaging to blueberry canes, leaves, and fruit. Canes and/or smaller twigs may be broken or bent; bark may be broken or split.

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More hail damage information

Wildlife Feeding

Wildlife Feeding by deer or rabbits causes physical damage to blueberries. Deer typically browse off cane tips and buds (below). Feeding by deer may cause extensive damage to both younger and older plantings.

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Rabbits eat cane tips at or above the snow line. Below: browsed cane tips on blueberries, caused by rabbits – note telltale droppings. They may also strip bark from canes above the snow line.

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Below: blueberry canes are stripped of bark (white areas along canes).

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More rodent damage information

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