Help Requested

Discussion in 'Maples' started by BinarySurfer, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. BinarySurfer

    BinarySurfer New Member

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    Location:
    Orlando Fl
    Greetings,

    This is my first post because I am looking for help and am not too knowledgeable about maple trees. From what I have read, I believe I have a sugar maple tree. Last year in June, there seemed to be something eating most of the leaves, but I could not find caterpillars or cocoons or bugs. By Fall, most of the leaves were eaten. This year, they have started in July, eating the leaves again appear to be eaten. Does anyone know what it could be?
    Link to Drive with photos: Maple Tree – Google Drive

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    Thank you for any help!
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi, it looks to me like leaf cutter bees, very active at this time of year. Tree will not suffer as a result but will not look it's best this year. In the uk we seem to have the same problem bi anually. Sugar maples as Japanese maples are deciduous so you will get new leaves in the Spring. Bees are not to be discouraged so I'm afraid so we all have to accept the aesthetic damage.
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the Forum!
    The damage on your maple leaves looks too extensive, random and irregular to be leafcutter bees. After observing them over many years in my garden, I notice leafcutter bee holes are typically separate, circular and smooth-edged. I can't suggest anything else that might be the culprit - it would be nice to find something in action.
     

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  4. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well my thought was also leaf cutter bees, but perhaps there is another culprit in FL, maybe ants?

    In either case I don't think the tree is in any danger, the leaves are disfigured but seem functional. I suppose you could look for a nest, but I would certainly stay away from spraying any sort of insecticide, which would do more damage then help.
     
  5. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Active Member

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    Slugs/snails are possibilities as well as caterpillars though caterpillars seem to consume the entire leaf leaving only the central vein.

    I recently found three of these IMG_20190727_130625352.jpg on a Norway maple of mine (in this example one side of the leaf has been eaten and the caterpillar is on the central vein which these guys didn't seem to care for.
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Maybe a winter moth (Operophtera brumata)?
     
  7. BinarySurfer

    BinarySurfer New Member

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    Thank you for the responses! I will keep a look out for bees to be safe. I won't kill them, but at least the mystery will be solved. I will also comb over other higher branches and see if I find any insects there.

    I had been thinking it was a fungus or some other infection.
     

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