(I know I am being a bit dramatic but in a matter of days I may have had an apple tree and a grape vine destroyed to the point of no return by little teeth. I am desperately hoping this will not be the case.)
OK, first discovery: the Mexican Bean Beetles have arrived.
Secondly: my little vine was further defoliated over the evening. Only a handful of leaves remain. I immediatly wrapped it in row cover and emptied my vacuum canister around the perimeter (dog hair)....I don't know what else to do.
Third discovery: bark stripping (by now I am walking in circles, fuming). Thankfully it is not girdled, but there is a lot of damage here. (Spitzenburg Apple)
Fourth: This is the other tree, thankfully not as severe.
And the big five: More pest and disease pressure. The Spitzenbug has so many things to fight right now. There is quite a pit of pest damage here, and also some disease which I have yet to pinpoint, a few lesions are visible in this photograph.
The one and only positive discovery- we have cantaloupe blossoms! This is the only vine of any size worth mentioning, and the only one flowering at the moment.
I am so angry with myself for not protecting the tree trunks, but I thought bark eating was a seasonal issue, meaning that as long as they were protected come Fall all would be good. Wrong. I tried an OMRI approved insecticide on the affected tree but it isn't reducing the pest pressure any. I was not yet willing to pull out the 'big guns', but finding the bark damage today has changed that. This evening we will be wrapping the trunks in mesh and spraying some nasty chemicals. I am thinking of having one of us hold up a barrier behind the tree as we spray so as to contain the droplets as much as possible. I will also spray at dusk when fewer beneficials are active. In a day or two I will follow it up with a foliar spray of fish and kelp emulsion and then just keep my fingers crossed that the damage is repairable, and that there will not be more in the future.