Something is eating my apple tree

HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)May 1, 2014

Hello all,

I have two small apple trees that I planted last year. One is a Fuji apple and one is a Granny Smith apple. I have started to notice caterpillars like the one in the attached photo showing up on the Fuji apple and eating the leaves. So far none have shown up on the Granny Smith.

Can anyone tell what these are or suggest what to do with them? At first I thought I had eastern tent caterpillars, but I googled them and they don't look like this. For the moment, I am checking daily and removing them by hand.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Removing them by hand is as good as anything provided you have time and there aren't too many. If you need to spray as the trees get bigger I've had good results from BT. It's safe for you and the tree and organic.

Any spray will work better on smaller insects and result in less damage.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:43PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Thank you. :) any idea what they are though? If they are butterflies that will eat a few leaves but end up pollinating many plants and looking pretty and doing no harm, then I really wouldn't mind them. But if they are the beginning of an infestation that will defoliate my trees, then I'd like to send them far away. Like the after life. :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:15PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I did a Google search and came up with this one that looks similar.

More info but no pic of larvae:
http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/insects-arachnids/butterflies/find-a-butterfly/(id)/176

Here is a link that might be useful: Red-spotted purple caterpillar (Life cycle series) - Limenitis arthemis

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:28PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Thank you, milehighgirl! I did some more googling and found the photo of the larvae. They look exactly what I've been seeing!

Okay, so it's a butterfly. I know butterflies will benefit my other plants later on and I don't think admiral butterflies normally do serious damage to their hosts (but I will research that further). So I probably should just leave them alone when I see them. :)

Angie

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:04PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

No way in a million years I could have figured that out without the internet. I can identify a tomato hornworm and that's about it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:00AM
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