Insect/squirrel damage to trees
1. We have some trees (an espaliered fig and a courtyard tree) that show curious leaf damage. See attached photo. At first we thought it was from the hailstorm we had this summer, but now wonder if it might be something else. We have seen some centipedes near the fig tree. Could it be that? Any ideas? 2. We recently realized that the Dogwood tree in our inner patio is showing some severe bark damage. See attached photo. We think it may be caused by squirrel claws. They like to climb the tree and jump on to the fence just next to it. Because the damage is on the side closest to the fence we did not see it until a few days ago. Do you think the damage will kill the tree? Any advice on what to do about it?
District of Columbia County District of Columbia
This does look like hailstone damage. Just to be sure, go out with a flashlight after dark and see if you see an insect eating your fig leaves. If you cannot find anything, another possibility is that some caterpillar did some chewing and is now somewhere else pupating. If they are gone, you do not need to worry about them. A few chunks out of the leaves is no big deal. Centipedes are generally carnivores and will not hurt your fig tree.
The damage to your dogwood is not something that you can fix. If the tree is healthy otherwise, do not worry. Keep it well watered in time of drought. vw