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Something is eating my apple tree

Posted by HotHabaneroLady 7a Central MD (My Page) on
Thu, May 1, 14 at 15:07

Hello all,

I have two small apple trees that I planted last year. One is a Fuji apple and one is a Granny Smith apple. I have started to notice caterpillars like the one in the attached photo showing up on the Fuji apple and eating the leaves. So far none have shown up on the Granny Smith.

Can anyone tell what these are or suggest what to do with them? At first I thought I had eastern tent caterpillars, but I googled them and they don't look like this. For the moment, I am checking daily and removing them by hand.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Something is eating my apple tree

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, May 1, 14 at 15:43

Removing them by hand is as good as anything provided you have time and there aren't too many. If you need to spray as the trees get bigger I've had good results from BT. It's safe for you and the tree and organic.

Any spray will work better on smaller insects and result in less damage.

RE: Something is eating my apple tree

Thank you. :) any idea what they are though? If they are butterflies that will eat a few leaves but end up pollinating many plants and looking pretty and doing no harm, then I really wouldn't mind them. But if they are the beginning of an infestation that will defoliate my trees, then I'd like to send them far away. Like the after life. :)

RE: Something is eating my apple tree

I did a Google search and came up with this one that looks similar.

More info but no pic of larvae:

Here is a link that might be useful: Red-spotted purple caterpillar (Life cycle series) - Limenitis arthemis

RE: Something is eating my apple tree

Thank you, milehighgirl! I did some more googling and found the photo of the larvae. They look exactly what I've been seeing!

Okay, so it's a butterfly. I know butterflies will benefit my other plants later on and I don't think admiral butterflies normally do serious damage to their hosts (but I will research that further). So I probably should just leave them alone when I see them. :)


RE: Something is eating my apple tree

No way in a million years I could have figured that out without the internet. I can identify a tomato hornworm and that's about it.

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