If you’ve been noticing holes in the leaves of your apricot tree, you’re not alone. This is a common problem for apricot trees, and there are several reasons why it might happen. In this blog post, we will discuss the possible causes of holes in apricot leaves and how to fix them.
Why Are There Holes in My Apricot Leaves?
The most likely reason for holes in apricot leaves is the presence of shot hole disease. This is a fungal disease that affects many types of trees, including apricots.
Shot hole disease is caused by a fungus called Sphaceloma amarum. This fungus invades the leaves of the tree and causes them to develop small holes. The holes are usually surrounded by a dark brown or black margin.
To determine if shot hole disease is the cause of holes in your apricot leaves, look for the following symptoms:
- Small, round holes in the leaves
- Leaves with a dark brown or black margin around the holes
- Spots on the underside of the leaves
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action immediately. The sooner you treat the problem, the better chance you have of saving your tree.
Treating Apricot Leaves with Shot Hole Disease
There are a few different ways to treat shot hole disease. One option is to use a fungicide. Fungicides are chemicals that kill fungi. They can be applied as a spray or a soil drench.
If you decide to use a fungicide, make sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully. Apply the fungicide in early spring, before new growth begins. You will need to reapply the fungicide every few weeks throughout the growing season.
Another option for treating shot hole disease is to remove and destroy affected leaves. This will help to prevent the fungus from spreading. Be sure to dispose of the leaves in a way that they won’t be able to infect other trees.
What Else Causes Holes in Apricot Leaves?
There are other reasons why apricot leaves can develop holes. If the holes in your leaves aren’t circular and the shape of the BB, it’s likely that they were caused by the following:
There are a number of different pests that can cause holes in apricot leaves. These include caterpillars, beetles, and earwigs. If you suspect that pests are the cause of holes in your leaves, look for other signs of pest damage, such as chewed leaves or stippling.
These pests can hide in the crevices of tree bark or in the ground at the base of the tree. To get rid of them, you can use a pesticide or trap them with sticky traps.
Neem oil is (Amazon link) my favorite way to remove pests from the apricot tree. It’s a natural oil that comes from the neem tree. As a natural substance, it doesn’t damage the environment like some chemical pesticides.
Harsh weather conditions can also cause holes in apricot leaves. High winds can damage the leaves, causing them to develop holes. Hail can also cause holes, as well as other types of physical damage.
It isn’t much you can do to prevent weather damage. However, you can try to protect your tree from the worst of it by covering it with a tarp during storms.
Animals, such as birds and squirrels, can also cause holes in apricot leaves. These animals typically eat the leaves or use them to build nests. To prevent animals from damaging your tree, you can put up a fence or use bird netting.
Now that you know the possible causes of holes in apricot leaves, you can take steps to prevent or treat the problem. By taking action quickly, you can save your tree from further damage.
Should I Prune Apricot Leaves with Holes?
If the leaves on your apricot tree have holes, you may be wondering if you should prune them. While it’s true that pruning can help to improve the appearance of the tree, it won’t do much to prevent or treat the underlying problem.
Pruning also has some risks. If you prune too much, it can damage the tree. It’s best to leave pruning to a professional if you’re not sure how to do it properly.
In most cases, it’s better to focus on treating the underlying problem than on pruning damaged leaves. By taking steps to prevent or treat shot hole disease, you can help your tree to recover and avoid further damage.
In conclusion, holes in apricot leaves can be caused by a number of different factors, but shot hole disease is the most common. If you notice holes in your apricot leaves, take action quickly to prevent or treat the problem. Left untreated, shot hole disease can kill an apricot tree.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.