Why Do So Many Trees Look Like This Right Now? We Have the Answer– and It’s Cicadas

Have you noticed trees with clusters of brown leaves? This is known as branch flagging, and it’s happening to a lot of trees in our area right now. 

Why is this happening? The Brood X cicadas were out and about in our area recently. When the female cicadas laid their eggs, they cut small slits into tree branches and deposited their eggs inside these slits. The branches that have eggs inside have started to wilt and their leaves have turned brown. 

Only the branches that have eggs in them have been affected– they will eventually fall off, leaving healthy branches behind and the rest of the tree unharmed. Trees that are very young or delicate might not survive after this, but most trees will be fine. 

Branch flagging can sometimes be caused by other pests such as scales, fungus, or other insects. In these instances, an increasing number of branches will start to show signs of flagging, and treatment may be required in order to keep the tree healthy.  However, if the flagging is caused by cicadas no treatment for the tree is needed.

By: Michelle Katz @pike.and.rozay


Want to Eat a Cicada? Some DMV Area Spots Are Giving You That Option! 

You may have seen (and heard) the Brood X cicadas that recently emerged.   Cicadas are edible, and some local businesses have decided to offer items containing cicadas or cicada-themed goodies. 

Here are some spots throughout the DMV where you can find treats celebrating the 17 year bugs:

Photo courtesy of Chef Seng’s instagram

Chef Seng Luangrath, the head chef of Laotian restaurant Thip Khao in DC, has shared photos of cicada dishes on her instagram. So far, the chef has shared photos of crispy fried cicadas, cicada scampi, and avocado toast topped with cicadas. There were some questions about whether Thip Khao would be offering cicada items or not. However we spoke with Chef Seng, who said the restaurant will in fact offer cicada entrees due to requests from a lot of customers. She hopes that the new menu will be finalized and available to the public this week.



Photo courtesy of One Loudon

Cocina on Market, based in Leesburg, VA, is offering cicada tacos as one of their specials. The Mexican restaurant is best known for their seasonally inspired cuisine, which includes cricket tacos on their regular menu. Their cicada tacos will be finished with Mole verde, avocado, radish, and pickled local ramps. 



Courtesy of Chouquette’s instagram

MoCo-based Chouquette chocolates offers three different types of cicada-themed chocolates. They’re selling chocolate covered cicadas, available in 3 different flavors. The description on their website says “ NOT A JOKE – these are REAL Brood X cicadas – currently gathered from Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Potomac MD.  We gather the cicadas as they shed from their exoskeletons, and emerge as young adults. Recipe: Gather Fresh Cicadas. Freeze. Boil. Airfry. Cinnamon Sprinkle. Cover in Chocolate.  Enjoy??” Their website also has this warning:” Individuals with Shellfish allergies should check with their physician before ingesting…All food has a variety of risks associated with it. With insects, the risks are estimated to be relatively small.”

For those who don’t wish to eat actual cicadas, they offer cicada shaped chocolates stuffed with marshmallow cream and they also offer chocolate covered caramels with cicada-themed art on them.



Courtesy of True Respite’s Instagram

Cicada themed beers are also available at a couple of MoCo breweries. True Respite, located in Rockville, is selling Cicada Maibock Lager beers, with cicada artwork decorating the cans. On their instagram, True Respite describes the beer as “A classic German-style Maibock Lager. This lager is toasty with a little hint of spicy Noble hop character, restrained sweetness, and a crisp finish. This style is traditionally brewed as a springtime refresher…” The artwork was created by MoCo resident Ashley Hauck of  @spicymustarddesigns

Courtesy of Silver Branch Brewing on Instagram

Silver Branch Brewing, located in Silver Spring, also has a beer named in honor of the cicadas. Their “BREW’D X IPA” sold out of cans within the first three days, but this brew is still available on tap at their brewery.  Silver Branch reassures us that “no Cicadas were harmed in the making of this hoppy, juicy IPA.” They describe the beer as “juicy, springtime IPA made with wheat and oats, Mosaic hop concentrate and a fruity new hop blend called Citiva.” 

Courtesy of 7 Locks Brewing’s instagram.

Another local brewery offering a cicada-themed beer: Rockville-based 7 Locks Brewing! They shared this on their instagram: “For the Brood X, we welcome Brew’d X to our lineup. And like the Brood X, Brew’d X is only around for a limited time… a sessionable pale ale at 4.8%, Brew’d X is both Buzzworthy & Crushable.”

Have you noticed any other cicada-themed treats in the area? Let us know!

By: Michelle Katz @pike.and.rozay

Featured photo courtesy of Chef Seng’s Instagram.


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