Dry and Brown Leaves on a Loquat Tree

Q:I have a young (3') Loquat Tree planted in my backyard. Its leaves are turning dry and brown despite sufficient watering, and may have some "munch markings" on the edges. I have 2 other Loquats in my front yard receiving similar sun, shade, and water and they are doing fine. Might something be munching on my tree, and if so, what can I treat it with to stop it?
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Hardiness Zone: 8a

Thanks!
Tripleb from Greenville, AL

A: Hi Tripleb,

Loquats don't have that many natural pests, but they are sometimes susceptible to scale and fire blight. Does your tree have blossoms yet? Fire blight, caused by the bacterium Erwina amylovaora, is common to your area. It usually occurs in the early spring during warm, humid weather. It is characterized by flowers, twigs and foliage that have a blackened or burned appearance. The tips of affected twigs and shoots may also droop into the shape of a "Shepard's crook." Cankers (dark or discolored areas) on the bark can usually be seen on the trunk or on branches near affected tissues and sometimes have an amber-colored discharge oozing out of them. I would cut off a few of the affected branches and take them to your county extension agency or call your city arborist. If it is fire blight, you'll need to remove all the affected root sprouts and suckers from the tree as soon as possible to prevent further spread of the disease.

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March 20, 20060 found this helpful

Dear Tripleb, I'm from Montgomery ! Lol small world huh? I'm now living far away. Anyhow, I have no clue what's up with your tree. However try calling your county agent. The # will be in the phone book under agriculture. Hope they can help.

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