A few days ago I was sitting in the garden enjoying the sun, when my eye fell on one of our pear trees. I thought “that tree looks kind of funny”. After a closer inspection we found that the pear tree is absolutely packed with caterpillars. As far as I could find in the internet they are the caterpillars of the brown-tail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea). The brown-tail moth is a beautiful white moth, which is active at night.
Obviously I do not really like such a massive damage on one of my trees, so first thing we did is free this tree of all of its caterpillars. There are a few small leaves left on this tree. I hope the tree will survive this attack. We fed the caterpillars to the chickens and started checking all of the other trees.
We found some more single caterpillars in a few trees, but nothing major anymore. Some caterpillars where also found on other plants, so we are checking our trees and plants regularly. While searching for the caterpillars, we also found a rose beetle
and a lady bug on some trees.
What I also found where some other problems with other pear trees. One pear tree has a lot of leaves that look like they are full with these little bubbles. I think this is caused by the pear leaf blister mites (Eriophyes piri). Apparently these mites do not really damage the tree, so I am just going to leave the leaves on the tree.
Another pear tree has a few leaves with these strange orange spots. This is European pear rust caused by a fungus named Gymnosporangium sabinae. I am not sure if I should do anything about this. One article says I should take of the leaves and dispose of them in the trash. Another article says they do not hurt or damage the pear tree and I can just leave them on the tree.
What would you do? Dispose of the leaves or just leave them on the tree?