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Location: central New Jersey

Snow Fountain Cherry leaf damage

Hi! I planted this snow fountain cherry last summer. It bloomed beautifully in spring. I'm shocked at the growth, as now the leaves are almost to the ground. This is one of the first trees I ever planted so I'm learning as I go with all of them. Anyway, I'm concerned because the leaves now have some holes and some look eaten. I see no damage to the bark. There's no powder or mildew. Since we had a very rainy June here in Jersey, I'm concerned about a fungus. I know shot hole disease is common with these trees and I do suspect this is what it could be. I checked last night for bugs and saw earwigs... which are also devouring a butterfly bush in the back. I also saw a beetle.. I don't think Japanese.. and a few other bugs. I was hoping someone could tell me by looking at the pics what they think, and also where I should start. I don't know if I treat for pests or a fungus. I have been told the damage isn't that bad and I should do nothing, but this is getting worse pretty quickly and I'm not sure I should let it go. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
photo (5).JPG
photo (5).JPG (44.9 KiB) Viewed 1190 times
Also, there is some browning at yellow leaves.
Also, there is some browning at yellow leaves.
photo (4).JPG (37.44 KiB) Viewed 1190 times
20130712_230344 (11).jpg

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Snow Fountain Cherry leaf damage

Sorry you didn't get a reply earlier.
Has the cherry's leaves been eaten up more -- definitely something's eating them.

If it is not significantly progressed, I wouldn't worry about it too much -- it can handle it. But if the tree is being defoliate at a rapid pace, you'll need to take action.

Three possibilities are slugs, caterpillars, and/or beetles.

This time of the year, Japanese beetles are a good possibility.

If the weeping branches are touching the ground, slugs can make their way up, but they feed mostly at night, so go out in the dusk or twilight, or on a rainy day, or take a flashlight and inspect.

You may also come across night feeding caterpillars.

Check also for tent caterpillar nest somewhere on the tree.

Once you ID the culprit, you'll be ale to take appropriate action. Even though this is an ornamental, treating a tree means extensive/significant spread, so it would be best to consider your options wisely according to level of toxicity, environmental and personal safety, etc.
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