What's eating my apple tree?
July 15, 2013 10:57 AM   Subscribe

What is this pest on my apple tree?

I planted a White Pearmain apple tree in my San Francisco backyard this winter. It seems to be doing well but I noticed some of the leaves have been munched on recently and would like to figure out how to treat it. I found some tiny (4mm?) bugs on the undersides of the leaves (it seems to be mostly the leaves at the top). We looked at them under my 5-year old's microscope and they're clearly brown and white mottled insects of some sort. I posted a picture of the tree, one of the leaves, and a bug here:

Any help identifying the bug and advice on treatment would be appreciated. Also, do I need to prune my tree?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am trying to rescue some apple trees in our new place, you will need to trim if you want to eat apples. I have been using this handbook on growing fruit at home from the Cornell extension as a guide. It has a good deal of information about pests in the back.
posted by shothotbot at 11:05 AM on July 15, 2013

You might try contacting the Calif, Department of Agriculture. I believe the will send out field agents to help with identification, even in urban settings.
posted by path at 11:27 AM on July 15, 2013

My best guess is a young stink bug. The family name for these insects is Pentatomidae. Check out a google image search for "Pentatomidae nymph".

Here's a pic of some southern green stinkbug nymphs that look similar.
posted by Falwless at 12:11 PM on July 15, 2013

COuld be that stink bug. That's definitely the closest match I've seen so far. I think I looked at some stink bug imges last night but they must have been adults and I dismissed them because of the shape.

I did email the UC Davis Master Gardener program and the retailer I linked above since that's where I bought it. I'll update if they provide any other information.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:47 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

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