Q.What’s Wrong With My Poor Loquats?
I’ve got a mature loquat tree that I’ve raised from a mere twig. I noticed something was munching holes in the leaves. Then something (same culprit?) started getting to the fruit. So now there are brown spots and squiggles on each piece of fruit. Weirdly, the brown spots and squiggles become hard like tree bark (in some cases even LOOK like tree bark), and flake off if touched. I sprayed the whole tree with pickle juice (Mom has very successfully used this method for many years for lots of different plants—I figured I couldn’t do any worse!). Of course, it rained the next day, so moot point altogether. A few days later, I followed up with a good dousing of vinegar, waited a week, and did it again. This seemed to help the leaves. I am beginning to see some new leaf growth without holes—the good news. More good news: my tree has more fruit that ever before, BUT not a single piece is unblemished—the bad news. What IS this??? What is wrong with my loquats? What can I do to stop it? CAN I stop it? Even the local wildlife is not eating these things; I guess that should be a bit of a red flag, eh? Thank you in advance for ANY help you’re able to provide. I’ve come up with a big fat zero elsewhere.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
An infestation of an insect (hard to say which without seeing the culprit in action) has led to infection. I don't recommend using vinegar unless you are very familiar with how to do so without damaging the tree or making the soil unusable. It is really easy to make an area unusable with improper use.
You can try broad spectrum insecticides, but it really helps to know the culprit in order to treat it successfully. You will need a fungicide, as well. This will take care of any residual effects from the infestation.