small black insect rapidly defoliating trees

SaphRose(z5 NY)June 12, 2005

A friend of mine purchased a number of trees this year from our local water authority (ashes, dogwoods, poplars, etc.) She noticed recently that all the trees they purchased are being quickly defoliated by very small black insect. They look like beetle larvae to me (not unlike ladybug larvae in appearance except for their size and coloration) and are small and totally black. They skeletonize the leaves leaving nothing but the fine veins behind and are rapidly destroying all the leaves on the small trees (the trees are a foot tall to slightly taller). The trees are planted in a shady area by a creek in their backyard. No other trees (all trees around them are mature trees) appear to be affected.

All attempts to reach the nursery that supplied the trees have been unsuccessful, and my friend suspects that the trees may not survive much past this weekend if they can't find a way to bring the infestation under control. Does anyone have any ideas as to what pest might be attacking the trees and how to control them? For that matter, has anyone else experienced a similar infestation (enough trees were sold by the water authority from a nursery in Rochester, NY that we can't help wondering if others have had the same problem). Handpicking appears to be ineffective because there are so many of them (the leaves and stems are completely covered & others quickly take the place of those removed).

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Gentian_NY(z5)

did you try calling your local Cooperative Extension Office?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bloomville(z4 NY)

I watched my viburnum get defoliated from the bottom up.
My coop ext said: Viburnum Leag Beetle.
Do contact them for info re. pest management--they sent me some good fliers.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Noelene

I have two ficus figs ( the small variety) that have new foliage being taken over by a small black insect the pest has a long body smaller than a match head in length. The new leaves are housing several of the pests & they curl the leaf to almost closed there in no web , the leaf is turning brown but not dead any clues ? Please,

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenweb

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
party_music50

Noelene, I'm guessing the problem with your ficus is aphids. Do they look something like the ones shown ?

If so, just set the plant in your bathtub, then mix a bit of ordinary dish-soap w/ water in a spray bottle and spray them off. You can also spray them off with just a stream of plain water. Ficus are sensitive, so make sure the water you use is tepid (slightly warmer than room temp). RInse w/ clear water when you're done. Check the plants each day and repeat the process if you see any aphids return.

Alternatively, you can just squish the aphids with your fingers, but that's sort of yukky. lol!

If it's not aphids, can you post a photo?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:54AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
ID this Critter?
These are showing up on my Joe Pye Weed in the early...
wantoretire_did
Double Knockout Roses in Zone 5
I'm posting under Upstate New York because it would...
birchhill
Brown Recluse Spiders~WARNING!!!
Yes. They DO live in NY State. Have for quite some...
thosedarnsqurls
Asiatic Lilly buds gone
It happened last year and I just noticed again today....
wantoretire_did
What do you do to keep the deer from nibbling your plants?
A gal in our garden club has had a horrible time with...
jean_mdc
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™