What insect is doing this and how to control?
I am a novice at growing fruit trees and I have a problem. I have two plum trees that I planted 5 years ago. They were given to me by a friend of my mothers; they were shoots coming off of their trees. They have been very healthy, and I have done a good job pruning them early each spring. This is the first year they have produced fruit.
I have been finding a small insect on the trees, eating the leaves and the baby fruits. It looks like a large brown spotted ant. It eats holes in the leaves and makes small, irregular, crescent shaped brown pits in the fruit. A few days later, the fruit will ooze a soft clear liquid, I assume it's natural sugar.
I have applied a product to the ground around the trees, it was a type I had never seen or used before (my husband bought it). The instructions were to miz x ounces with i gal water and dump around roots, then a gal of clear water. It is supposed to absorb into the roots and protect the tree internally from aphids and leafhoppers. I also use Bonide brand orchard spray, which is labeled for plums. I have not had much luck with that, even though it seems very broad spectrum. I was so looking forward to our first plums and now it seems almost every fruit is damaged. I pick off the damaged fruit and throw it across the yard.
I also have a nectarine, peach, apple and cherry tree that I have no problems with yet. They look great and are fruiting well so far.
Can anyone help?