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What's Eating my Tree's Leaves?

Posted by WrittenOnWater Northern VA (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 20, 13 at 17:28

This has been a recurring problem, but I finally need to figure it out since I just planted an apple tree nearby.

My cherry tree (decorative only) has been getting eaten all spring and summer. I'm not sure what's eating the leaves, but the pest leaves small holes in the leaves. It's almost like a holepuncher, because sometimes the hole is not completely punched out and the hole is left hanging by a thread. My entire tree is riddled with holes, and I suspect this is why my entire vegetable garden nearby was riddled with holes too.

Any thoughts on what could be causing this, and how to fix the problem?

Many thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What's Eating my Tree's Leaves?

It's not a creature, it's a disease and rather specific to cherries and plums, too. It's called shothole fungus and it is very common.......of all the myriad of pest and disease problems that can befall members of the Prunus genus, this one is pretty far down on the worry-about scale :-) It is more cosmetic than harmful in nature.

And at this time of year, all you should need to do is wait until the leaves fall, rake them up and dispose. The apple will not get the same problem.

and FWIW, whatever is bothering the veggies is not the same thing.......that could very well be something like flea beetles or other small insect pests. Again, depending on the specific plant type and the amount of damage, you may or may not choose to treat. I tend to encourage a lot of tolerance for insect damage unless it directly affects the health of the plant or the quality of the crop. A few holes in leaves generally does neither.

RE: What's Eating my Tree's Leaves?

Yes, that's a great picture of shothole fungus!

RE: What's Eating my Tree's Leaves?

as noted ... we NEVER fix anything .. this late in the season ... on deciduous trees ...

and your presumptions.. mark you as a newbie ... thank goodness you found us ... we can bring up the learning curve ...

a good rule of thumb.. is for you to find latin names.. and then try to figure out.. if any given condition runs between such ... as in this case.. where the prunus disease.. does not affect malus ...

to be successful with apple ... to grow ones that look like the ones in the store ... you will need to be spraying an apple tree 3 to 5 times per year ... there is a fruit forum.. and hopefully.. those peeps can help you ...

finally ... late october is not the time to be looking for pristine plants ... everything is getting ratty ... as the trees wind down ... and in fact.. the whole garden winds down ... your only conern at this time of year.. is fall cleanup ... and IDing what need be done ... e.g. removal of all veggie greens... removes any bugs that might winter over ... so there will come a time.. to clean out that bed ... same with removing leaves from under certain tree for sure ... etc ... [and of course.. the converse ... perhaps that tree leaves .. holes or not.. can be incorporated into the veggie bed ... so improve your soil.. since the tree fungus may not impact the veg ... you can research that ... or someone else can firm that up ...i am simply giving an e.g.]

good luck


RE: What's Eating my Tree's Leaves?

Thank you all! I didn't have the right settings on this account and never received emails notifying me of these responses. I very much appreciate them though, and will see what I can do about the shothole fungus in the spring.

As for the vegetable garden growing nearby, I now know it's an unrelated problem (green worms - I think cabbage worms), although I do need to find a solution. They've eaten so much of my garden in past years that I've never been able to plant a producing vegetable plant there. I find at least 5 worms a day there. It's very strange since I never find the worms on the veggie bed 6 feet away...

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