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Apple tree curling leaves - what to do?


My 8 year old dwarf James Grieve apple tree has a decent amount of half-inch greens showing but a number of leaves have started to curl.  A quick internet trawl suggests this may be down to the aptly named "apple leaf curling midge".  Anyone else seeing same? Suggestions on what to do would be much appreciated. 

I would suggest you look at the curled leaves using a good magnifying glass. Various types of aphid can give rise to a similar effect, and you will probably be able to see more clearly what is happening. It will make any internet search much easier. 

If you can get a magnification lens for a phone or camera try a picture and post it here.  There are plenty of knowledgeable people here, but on its own "leaf curl" is too broad a description for an exact diagnosis. I have some leaf curl on one apple tree but I have checked and in my case it is aphids.

New shoots on most fruit trees are often attacked by aphids... nice soft material to get their teeth into... if it is particularly unsightly snip the ends back, otherwise leave it to the good guys to clear up.

This season I have had a lot of success in avoiding aphid attack on the tender young growth on fruit trees and bushes.  No spraying involved either.  That said it wasn't strictly an organic approach.  Around my fruit trees and fruit cage area I diligently searched out and eliminated ants nests.

It was so successful I thought it worth mentioning. Ants can be beneficial is some circumstances and I made no attempt to remove them from other parts of my plot. But preventing them "farming" aphids on tender shoots made a big big difference.


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