Something Eating Leaves on Apple Tree

I planted apple trees in the spring and they were doing rather great. Now something seems to be eating the leaves, what is this and how do I stop it? A lot of the leaves have holes in them and they seem to by drying up.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By thebudman from Pittsburgh, PA

July 27, 20090 found this helpful

Are they getting enough water? You have to be very vigilant the first 2 years. Stressed plants attract bugs. In the fall spray with a bordeaux mixture (lime and sulfur). This is a relatively harmless spray, made of natural ingredients and helps the tree for the next year.

If you can do it, it also helps to have chickens to eat bugs beneath the trees as well, of course you wouldn't expose them to the spray.

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July 27, 20090 found this helpful

I try to water in the early morning or late evenings daily. I water both the same yet one is doing better then the other although it was a little bigger then the other from the start. This mixture is there any type of measuring to do or just so it is watery enough to spray? I also gave each a fruit tree spike when I planted them and every once in awhile give them some miracle grow. I guess I was just hoping they weren't getting some kind of disease for I put a lot of time and $ into them. They are surrounded by a 4' high fence to keep the deer away from them for now!

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July 27, 20090 found this helpful

I assume you are trying to get rid of insects. I would suggest you spray whenever you see the insects. I would use liquid hot sauce, but, you don't have to use hot sauce. Mix a couple tablespoons of powdered hot mustard with a quart of water. Mix in a cup of mouthwash (Listerine) to make your spray especially nasty. I've even heard that adding a can of beer also chases the bugs away. Good luck.

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August 3, 20090 found this helpful


We've had the same issue with our 12+ year old apple tree this year. We've also had a lot of earwig grubs in the apples we've picked, though I'm not sure that's what's destroying the leaves.

I would talk with your local greenhouse owner and see what they have to say about it. I believe you'll probably find that this is a regional issue caused by the unusual weather we've had this year. I don't know where in Pgh you're located, but we swear by Bedner's Greenhouse in Cecil, PA (SW of Pgh, not far off 79). They're always friendly and very knowledgeable.

Good luck!

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