I had an 2 year old orange tree that had all its leaves eaten off over a period of 3 days. What is the cause and how can I prevent it from happening to a new citrus?
|Swallowtail or Orange dog caterpillars are a good possibility. If so, you'll find entire leaves are missing, sometimes with just part of the midvein remaining. And it's almost entirely new, young growth that is affected. Since these caterpillars turn into butterflies, you may want to simply put up with the damage. Your tree will leaf out again.
If the damage is tiny half-moon-shaped notches along the edges of the leaves (mainly mature leaves), it could be one of our species of root weevil -- we have five: Diaprepes (a.k.a. Apopka weevil, sugarcane rootstock borer weevil), Northern bluegreen weevil, bluegreen weevil, Fuller rose weevil, and little leaf notcher.
If the damage is occuring mostly to mature leaves, and looks like something chewed irregular holes out of the sides of the leaves, it could be grasshoppers or katydids.
Hope this information helps you determine just what is happening to your orange tree.