Something stripping leaves

auntnana21July 19, 2012

There is something stripping all the leaves off my fruit trees! I was out of town a couple of days and when I came back all the leaves are completely gone off about half of my apple, pear, cherry trees. Whatever it is isn't bothering the apples or pears, just the leaves. I've looked over every inch of what's left and can't find anything. Whatever it is is leaving a tiny trail of what looks like poo on the leaves that aren't completely gone. Poor trees look like twigs. They are still green and the apples and pears are growing good, they just have no leaves. I've never had this happen before. Will the leaves grow back? Will this permanently damage my trees? I don;t even know what to look for as I've never had anything strip the leaves before!

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Lower half of the tree -- likely to be a woodchuck. They can and do climb, I've had them climb into my younger, smaller trees and strip the lower half -- I guess they don't like the wobbly outer branches, too thin to support their weight.

If it's higher up, most likely deer.

The trees will recover, as long as the new growth isn't continuously stripped.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I would think deer would eat the apples and pears

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

If it is an animal there will be a bite mark, usually deer bite off a leaf leaving half an inch or so of stem left. Bugs on the other hand will not leave such a clean break. Please describe what fragments are left of your eaten leaves, and if there are leaves missing that are taller than any deer could reach.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:02PM
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I have a similar issue with two pear trees and a peach. All of the leaves are missing from about four feet down. Most of the leaves look like they were cut where the leaf and stem meet, leaving a tree of stems! The others, the leaves and stems are missing, however above four feet, they look normal. The trees are about six feet in total and were planted about 2 months ago.
Thank you,

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:16AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

pmorris that sounds just like deer.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:12AM
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