Persimmon tree pests

Asked June 29, 2017, 10:06 AM EDT

I am the gardener for this property, and installed a persimmon tree about a month ago. Arrived on property this morning to find the leaves curled and being eaten up, and ants all over. I'm guessing the ants are after watever is eating the leaves. I also think that beetles are the ones eating the leaves, typical holes, kind of lacey.
So the focus would be on the curled up leaves, and the ants.
The tree is young, a little over six feet tall, gets more than six hours Sun. The soil here is poor, wet, clay.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Did you look within the rolled leaf? There could be an insect feeding or pupating in there.
You are right, the lacy leaves could be beetles, or leaf cutter bees or even caterpillar.
It doesn't seem concerning.
Ants often show up when there is a sweet/sticky substance, which often is honeydew, which sucking insects like scale or aphids excrete while feeding.
Look for that, but we wonder if it could just be that honeydew is dropping (raining like tiny drops) from some overhead trees nearby.
Either way, none of this looks too concerning or would warrant treatment.
We do think you should pull back the mulch (shouldn't be more than 3") from the trunk and make sure the plant isn't planted too deeply. Is it an American persimmon? They can take many types of soil, but not one that is waterlogged.
We'd be regularly checking the soil to make sure that it is not waterlogged, but also that it has moisture throughout the period of establishment.
Make sure that it has 10-15 feet of space all around to grow, and consider fencing it from deer damage.
Young persimmon should also be protected from sunscald in winter. Protect the trunk with a coat of white latex paint or plastic or paper tree guard.