Garden pests- something's eating my plants' leaves!

by Connie
I bought one of these trees. It's a Contorta Filbert. Something is eating the leaves. It's not Japanese Beatles, the holes on the leaves are not big enough for that. I was wondering if anyone else has one of these and what they use on it.
The care card that came with has no info
  17 answers
  • John John on Jun 25, 2017

    Take some of the affected leaves back to the nursery (in a baggie )where you bought them, unless it was Walmart. In the case of a not so knowledgeable plant reseller, go to an established nursery. They are always willing to help, even if you did not purchase the plants from them.

  • Julie Julie on Jun 25, 2017

    It sounds like it could be a grub. Maybe try a spray of white oil.

  • Dori Kehowski Dori Kehowski on Jun 25, 2017

    its the caterpillers

  • Toc15434384 Toc15434384 on Jun 25, 2017

    sometimes just water and dish detergent

  • Que19265127 Que19265127 on Jun 25, 2017

    Could be earwigs. They eat leaves but only in small bits. Search internet for remedies.......there's some cheapo easy ones out there.

  • Allison Allison on Jun 25, 2017

    I can't see any damage from these photos, just a bit of wilting. If the holes look like buckshot, you have beetles. I have read that flea beetles may be the culprit. The first thing I would do is reduce the stress of the very hot, heat absorbing, black pots. Wrap them in something white to reflect some of the heat. If you can post a closeup pic of the damage, a better idea of what is attacking can be made.

    • Grace Hutchinson Grace Hutchinson on Jun 25, 2017

      Looks like it could be wilting too. If they have been in the black pots too long their roots could be taking up most of the pot. They really need to be planted and the roots scored or so it seems to me.....or put in a bigger pot and score the roots .....

  • Phillipcardjr Phillipcardjr on Jun 25, 2017

    Certainly good comments regarding the root stress. I learned the hard way last year. Another bug to consider is the Tortoise beetle this one seems to be very active on some my plants. Looks like a small scab at first till you touch it and it moves. Only another guess. Alien looking until magnified.

  • Itsmemic Itsmemic on Jun 25, 2017

    I have these trees also..LOVE them...and one day? The beautiful leaves were GONE !! Gypsy a matter of 2 days...they ate every leaf. !!! The caterpillar stage eats voraciously. This year? I Mixed up some DrBronners Peppermint Soap and water in a spray bottle....and no more "pillars dining on my tree ! Not ONE !!! A very cheap fix...Bronners dilutes like crazy and still maintains it's peppermint smell...and taste I suppose :)

  • Winnie Winnie on Jun 25, 2017

    Pretty much circle of life here! Drip irrigation isn't going to keep up with this guy. You're losing more water than you're taking in. If a plant is healthy, you may get munchers, but generally they dine on the weaker. This plant is stressed out and will die unless it gets cut back, shifted up, planted in the ground or more water. Also most all critters do their damage under the leaf, leaving behind evidence of what's eating it. Peppermint soap was the best idea so far, but to be honest to me it's the human taking the picture that is charged with neglect. The insect is doing its job.

  • Winnie Winnie on Jun 25, 2017

    Also it's summer so don't rule out hail. Or it could be dry granular fertilizer from the lawn spreader. Sometimes we're fertilizing the lawn and slinging it on the foliage of our plants. That one piece of fertilizer will burn a hole straight through the leaf with or without water. If you fertilize your lawn with a spreader, go around your perimeter with a blower or a broom and brush off the granules that may have hit your plants. Water/rain only activates the granule to burn a hole in the leaf. You have to brush/blow it off.

  • Mary Adams Mary Adams on Jun 25, 2017

    Actually, your contorted filbert looks healthy! For some strange reason some of us people are attracted to the abnormal! But you should/could plant it in the ground. And if there are tiny holes in the leaves take a couple leaves, as has been suggested, to a reputable nursery and they can give you a diagnosis.

  • Mary Adams Mary Adams on Jun 25, 2017

    Another suggestion is consult your local extension office, if there is one close by.

  • Pandalana Williams Pandalana Williams on Jun 25, 2017

    Look up Eastern Filbert Blight. That is how we lost ours.

  • Julie Julie on Jun 25, 2017

    Sorry .This is an insecticide spray. Gets rid of bugs ,It works on Aphids, mealybugs , .Citrus leaf minor ,mites, smooth skinned caterpillars, scale. It blocks the breathing pores of insects ,and causes suffocation and death. Homemade-1 cup vegetable oil or white mineral oil.1/4 cup dish soap without bleach .Or Murphys oil soap .place in a jar with lid shake well .Should turn a whitish colour. Will store about 3 months in a sealed container . That's your concentrate,  Needs to be diluted prior to use. Using 1 Tablespoon per litre of water. All the best.

  • Cla22104047 Cla22104047 on Jun 26, 2017

    It sounds like inch worms. They are thin and green, difficult to see, but they eat and cause massive damage quickly. I had a problem with them when I was trying to grow spearmint of all things. I'd wake up in the morning and my mint would nearly be wiped out. I picked up some Organicide at Home Depot that had to be diluted and sprayed on the leaves. When I did it all of a sudden all the inch worms appeared, I couldn't believe how many there were on my plant. It worked! Do have to say that the product has a thick oily consistency that leaves a sticky residue. I tried soapy water first, but it didn't get rid of the problem. Also, are there any spider webs, or white cocoons on the undersides of your leaves. You could have two things going on at the same time. Any nursery can help determine what it is and will advise. Good luck and happy gardening!