Half eaten Navel Orange tree leaves.

norwood1081(9aSEAz)May 23, 2008

I have a young 3' Navel Orange tree with many new leaves but lately I've noticed some of the leaves look like they are half eaten. What insect/bug would cause that and how can I get rid of it? The tree has been planted in the ground for 10 weeks. All the original leaves have fallen or been blown off and have been replaced with many new leaves. It has blossomed twice. Any advice would be appreciated.

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I have a young naval orange tree with some of the older leaves half eaten. I have noticed ants on the tree and on the pot. What should I use to control the ants and is this the reason the leaves are eaten on? It is time to transplant the tree. Should I place it in the ground (We have slopping land with a pond on it in mid Mississippi) or should I transplant it into another pot? My Mom & Dad gave me the tree a couple of years ago.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 1:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

norwood, inspect your tree for the large caterpillars of the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, which might be the culprit in your situation.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 1:13PM
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rhizo 1: There aren't any caterpillars or ants or anything on the underside of the leaves. My wife has been spraying deluted Dawn Dishwashing liquid on the leaves without any result. If I could post a picture with this post I could show you exactly what I'm talking about, but is that possible?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 6:11PM
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here are a few insects that could be eating your leaves

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will keep researching. I think I will try the soapy water spray at night since no visible pests are present during the day. (Too hot.) If you go to the link below you can see a picture of the half eaten leaves.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 6:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

norwood, just so you know.....soap sprays only work if you actually get the spray on the critter. Once it dries, or the insect isn't drenched in it, it's useless. Be very careful about using dish detergents for pest problems as they can be very caustic on tender foliage. Dawn has a terrible reputation for causing severe damage, more so than most. Believe it or not, commercial insecticidal soaps are less damaging to leaves, while being more effective for pest control.

ANYhow! The leaf chewing on your plant looks like the damage caused by leaf cutter bees. Do all the leaves look sort of like half circles neatly cut away?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 12:00PM
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rhizo 1: thanks for the heads up on the soap spray. I recently read about commercial insecticidal soaps, but the next time we go into town my wife is going to get some garlic in the produce department and make up some liquid garlic with water. 1 part garlic to 10 parts water. I believe I'll be able to use that on a variaty of plants and small trees.

Your absolutely right about the Leafcutter bees. I came across a site yesterday and made a positive ID. They're a temporary threat and use the cuttings as nesting material. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 6:18PM
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