What's ailing my Plum Tree?

Many of the newest leaves on my (2nd season, Burgundy) plum tree have lots of holes in them, and/or pieces taken out of the edges, and they are also quite yellow (and sometimes deformed). Most of the leaves that preceded them look perfectly fine. The same thing is happening to a lesser degree with my pluots.

The only reference I can find that has some overlap with these symptoms is Shot Hole disease. However, I see no examples of brown spots on the leaves, only holes and missing pieces, and the yellow new growth doesn’t seem to be a symptomatic of Shot Hole disease. I don’t see any pests attacking the plant (I also checked at night, thinking it might have been earwigs).

I would appreciate advice about this situation: what is it, and what can I do about it?

@edmark looks like leaf roller catipillars to me, check new buds and under leaves for little inchworm caterpillars keep your eyes open they often rappel down on web when scared. I usually just keep squishing them but you could spray insecticide as well

1 Like

I’ve searched carefully, but find no signs of leaf roller caterpillars or any silk on the leaves (curled or otherwise).

Some pests work at night. Some of the damages on your plum leaves looked like they were munched on.

1 Like

I managed to find a single green caterpillar on the tree at night, munching on the edge of a leaf, but it seems unlikely that the holes in the center of the leaves could be caused by caterpillars. I also searched the tree quite carefully for any other caterpillars and couldn’t find any. Am I correct in assuming they remain in the tree both day and night? Or do they hide underground during the day?

Different caterpillars work different shifts.

Besides, bugs eating those leaves, did those leaves have reddish spots on them before the holes appeared. If they did, that’s a sign of a shot hole disease.

As I said in my initial post, there was/is no sign of spots (brown, red, or otherwise) on the leaves, which is why I think it’s not likely to be shot hole disease. Where do the caterpillars hide if not in the tree itself?

Do they hatch and then feed?