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whats eating these leaves?

Posted by katyajini z6 NYC (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 12, 07 at 20:53

I have never seen the leaves on my trees getting eaten like this before. The pictures are of leaves on my new planted Northstar and Montmorency cherry trees. I see it also on my new blackberry canes. What animal is doing this? The leaves are getting decimated. What can I do?

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: whats eating these leaves?

Go out with a flashight around 10 pm and look for bugs, perhaps earwigs, caterpilars, or ? Many bugs only come out at night.

RE: whats eating these leaves?


Several species of night-feeding beetles cause the type of injury you are seeing. The most common are the Rose Chafer and the larger Masked Chafer. I have the most trouble with the Masked Chafer, which usually chooses cherry and plum tree leaves before any others. You can have these beetles even if you have completely eliminated the day-feeding Japanese beetles with milky spore.

Sevin (carbaryl) and Diazinon are both effective against these beetles, but the effects of these contact insecticides wear off quickly, and sprays must be renewed about every 3-4 days to continue to be effective during the period of heaviest infestation, which is usually during the month of July. There are systemics like Orthene that can be used if you don't mind systemics. Their effects last much longer.

I don't know of a solution other than spraying. Hand picking would have to be done at night, when most of us prefer to be sleeping or working the night shift.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

RE: whats eating these leaves?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 13, 07 at 1:29

Note that Diazinon is no longer available, retail, to home gardeners. However, anyone who still has some can use it according to label directions.

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