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Old 09-03-2017, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Virginia
313 posts, read 171,894 times
Reputation: 118

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Within the last two rainy days, one of our newly ( early spring ) planted Forsythias is missing every single leaf and there are half a dozen holes in the soil ( a couple of inches and in diameter ) adjacent to the shrub!

I have absolutely no idea what could have caused this occurrence other than some type of animal or bird???

It's totall bizarre!
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:15 PM
 
6,717 posts, read 8,092,551 times
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You might have Japanese weevils. They defoliate whole Forsythias. Have you seen anything that looks like this? These guys are only 5 mm long, so look closely!





The holes around the base of the shrubs may or may not be related. You could have anything from chipmunks to crayfish tunneling around under there.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Virginia
313 posts, read 171,894 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
You might have Japanese weevils. They defoliate whole Forsythias. Have you seen anything that looks like this? These guys are only 5 mm long, so look closely!





The holes around the base of the shrubs may or may not be related. You could have anything from chipmunks to crayfish tunneling around under there.
I guess have to love k at the adjacent forsythia leaves very closely. I was thinking the adjacent holes could be from rabbits who perhaps are lol of the leaves?
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Virginia
313 posts, read 171,894 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickcin View Post
I guess have to love k at the adjacent forsythia leaves very closely. I was thinking the adjacent holes could be from rabbits who perhaps are lol of the leaves?
I just checked the leaves of the adjacent forsythia and there are no signs of any bugs at all. Whatever caused the leaves to be gone happened within a 2 to 3 day period so it's hard to image small bugs could have devoured them that quickly.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
10,370 posts, read 8,787,352 times
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Do you have deer? They will leave mine alone for a while and then decide, on their own, that I need a good pruning. Sometimes you can see this on the taller forsythias that are missing all their leaves up to about four or five feet high.

PS Take a good look at the holes and see if they are not just deer tracks!
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
1,538 posts, read 646,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickcin View Post
I just checked the leaves of the adjacent forsythia and there are no signs of any bugs at all. Whatever caused the leaves to be gone happened within a 2 to 3 day period so it's hard to image small bugs could have devoured them that quickly.
Earwigs are atrocious this year. In the dark of the night they will devour the leaves on many a shrub/plant, or bush. The better part of my small leaf plants have been destroyed by these little monsters.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Virginia
313 posts, read 171,894 times
Reputation: 118
Ok, yes we do have deer so I guess I could look around to see if there are any hoof tracks in the area. I do not think a deer was responsible for the holes in the soil, they definitely look like they were dug by some animal.

Could it be earwigs? Don't know but why would they attack and devour one complete forsythia and not see any damage in the adjacent plants? It's all just very suspicious and unknown at this point.

Thanks for the suggestions, I need to determinee the cause to prevent further destruction. I guess the forsythia will survive this since they are like a weed.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:53 AM
Status: "Kimo crack corn. Ainokea." (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Big Island of Hawaii
1,527 posts, read 464,345 times
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I'll bet it's your neighbor. That one plant was blocking his view...


...so he came over and ate every single leaf, and dug holes to confuse you.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
10,370 posts, read 8,787,352 times
Reputation: 6792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickcin View Post
Ok, yes we do have deer so I guess I could look around to see if there are any hoof tracks in the area. I do not think a deer was responsible for the holes in the soil, they definitely look like they were dug by some animal.

Could it be earwigs? Don't know but why would they attack and devour one complete forsythia and not see any damage in the adjacent plants? It's all just very suspicious and unknown at this point.

Thanks for the suggestions, I need to determinee the cause to prevent further destruction. I guess the forsythia will survive this since they are like a weed.
My wife is going out now to clean her duck's cage and I am listening to a deer snort at her in the background! The deer hang around hoping for some duck food to fall in their direction. They quack we up!

If the holes were not deer tracks; they could have been skunks looking for grubs? I would not worry about them, if that is the case; unless you let a dog out to run at night (then you might have a problem). Skunks will not spray you or your dog unless they feel threatened or you surprise them. People pay a lot of money to get rid of grubs in their lawns and skunks do the job for free - they just leave a little divot!

How high was your forsythia when all the leaves were eaten? I am presuming that is was less than five feet high because you just planted it. That would make all leaves within the reach of the deer. I have no idea what triggers this need to eat forsythia? They have left ours alone for the last two years and like I said before; they are always around. Three years ago they stripped off every leaf and, yes, ours did come back. I did not even cover it because I don't like it's location - I want to move it and too lazy.

If this becomes too much of a problem you could try replacing the forsythia with English Boxwood - just that one variety of Boxwood with the round, shinny, leaves. They are one of the very few shrubs that deer will not eat. Japanese Andromeda are also deer resistant. Deer will eat a little of the new growth on Holly, but in general; will leave the plants alone. Deer are outside and eating 24/7 and it is hard for gardeners and home owners to really get the upper hand. You either have to cage your plants or spray them and the spray wears off with rain.

We gave up many years ago and now just have the 'deer safe' shrubs. Now no Yews or Rhododendron or roses. It makes life so much easier.

PS Here is another CD link to a discussion on deer eating gardens: Preventing Deer From Eating Garden
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Virginia
313 posts, read 171,894 times
Reputation: 118
I'm aligned with your thinking that it was a deer since the bush was only 3 feet high and all of the leaves where gone to no time. That kind of excludes bugs or insects and even if it were a rabbit or other small animal, it would have taken them days to eat all of those leaves.

The holes in the ground could very well be from skunks in search of grubs. Since the missing leaves and the holes in the soil seemed to happen at the same time, I thought they were related, but perhaps just a coincidence just to confuse me. Thanks for the info!
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