Defoliated in NJ

have been away for a week. On my return a good deal of my plants are defoiliated. Any idea what pests are out and about in NJ this time of year? I don’t see any of the perpetrators at the moment.

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Are those stub ends from pruning, or are they related to the damage? If you pruned them, I do wonder if there’s Asiatic garden beetle about. They did a number on me last year. They’re like Japanese beetles, but only active after dark so it’s hard to notice until the damage is extensive.

If you didn’t prune them, I also suspect deer.

Those where not pruned. The last time the dear got in they ate down to the buds.

Deer feed differently depending on their hunger and age.

I first thought from the first photo of caterpillar/worm damage…but the others appear to be deer.

Looks like deer damage to me.

I agree it looks like deer browsing, where the leaves are entirely removed leaving only the petiole. Sometimes they unfortunately also eat the entire growing tips. I have seen this on fruit trees and other plants like hostas, sunflower, etc.

I like to apply stinky a foliar spray of fish emulsion+water which I read is repugnant to deer noses. It also serves as a mild fertilizer and seems to work until rain washes it away.

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You’ve got a deer. Sorry man, they’re one of the worst pests out there!

FYI, there are millions of “deer repellent” solutions out there but don’t get suckered into any of them. Fences are the only solution for deer. Even when I prune the trees so they can’t reach the foliage they will chew the bark off in the dead of winter, so I have to fence every single tree I want to protect.

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Yeah agree with @ampersand. Looks like Bambi did it

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Fences and bullets are the only real solutions, but some of the deer repellents work on plants they don’t prefer to begin with.