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What's eating my new fruit trees?


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  • What's eating my new fruit trees?

    I planted an orchard last year and I'm looking for some help identifying what's been eating my fruit trees this spring.
    The apples and pears seemed to have faired worst and I've attached a few photos. The Apple tree seems to have been stripped back by something. The pear trees still have lots of leaves but many have black edges and holes with black dots on the leaves. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    The holes will be caterpillars or snails.
    But the all-over shrivelled leaves looks to me like the tree is dying, probably due to lack of water.


    • #3
      Thanks for the response. Would a wet site also cause this as I'm in Scotland and shortage of water is never a problem.
      Regards caterpillars would you expect to see any as I've been looking over the leaves and can't see anything?
      Anyway I'm going to give them a spray and see what happens!


      • #4
        If it's caterpillars, you would see them, yes. If you can't see them, either it was caterpillars but they've already moved on, or else it was snails. I'll be honest, it looks like snail damage to me. Spraying won't help with snails.

        The dying could potentially be cause by too must water, but the trees would have to be literally flooded in order to cause it. Lack of sufficient water is almost certainly the cause. If they were bareroot, then the roots are damaged and reduced in volume, so the capacity to take up water is reduced. Therefore, they need watering pretty often in dry spells (even on moisture-retentive soils, you want to give them at least a full watering can every 7-10 days, and on sandy soils you need to do that twice as often).
        The dying could also be due to soil contaminated with salt, or due to much too much fertiliser added at planting time (it can burn the roots).
        Either way, I suspect the brown and crispy ones will not recover, and will just go on to die.


        • #5
          The winter moth caterpillar feeds on leaves & flower buds during the spring & then drops to the soil around now to pupate,the moth then climbs the tree in the winter to lay eggs. Putting grease bands around the trees in the autumn should help but check the leaves early spring for any holes or brown patches on them.


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