Ive got fuzzy thing on my trees...anyone???

I have these fuzzy little
things that are attached to the leaves
on a tree I have and they seem to be
eating away at it. Anyone ever seen this?



If they resemble white lint my best three guesses are; in this order, 1)Mealy bugs 2)White flys 3)Spider mites. It could also be a type of fungus.

Inspect the plant closely, if there are little white caterpiller looking beasts there, you have mealy bugs, little wedge shaped flies, whiteflys. Tiny webs are indicative of spider mites. If it is just a furry covering it is likely to be some kind of fungus.

Once you diagnose the problem, a trip to the garden store will fix the problem.

I’d guess mealybugs or powdery mildew. The “white, fuzzy” should eliminate spider mites as a cause. Take a leaf in to your local nursery/garden store. They’ll set you up with something to handle it.

(Indoor tree (e.g., ficus) or outdoor tree? When the clerk hands you the insecticide or fungicide, READ THE LABEL and make sure you have the equipment to apply the stuff before you leave the store. Also make sure that your tree is not on the list of “do not apply to” plants. The clerks should know the generically useful -cide, but they don’t always pay enough attention to other details.)


I know the garden department in my local Wal-Mart has a large book of pests and plant problems next to the insecticides and other sprays. The pictures and descriptions were very helpful when I had to find a way to get rid of the bagworms that were eating my trees a few years ago.

Are you itching?

If so, you may be All Shook Up.

Squirrels? You didn’t say how little.

Fall’s coming. Maybe it’s a sweater.

Gypsy moths. They came around in the early 80’s, IIRC. Eat the hell out of the trees, and they’re a bugger to get rid of. Cut the branch off and burn it, its the only way I know of to get rid of them. There might be some type of pesticide to get rid of them, but I don’t know what it is.


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

Could it be aphids?

"The “white, fuzzy” should eliminate spider mites as a cause. "

I agree, I only mentioned them because, in my experience, the little webs can capture airborne debris giving them a fuzzy look. Powdery mildew was also the first fungal infection that came to mind though here in the tropics it is far from alone in the “furry patches on leaves” department of plant pests.

Rodd said:
Are you itching?
If so, you may be All Shook Up.

I almost busted a gut. Very, very funny!!!

I’m very lucky. The only time I was ever up shit creek, I just happened to have a paddle with me.
–George Carlin

Without knowing what sort of tree it is, or where you live, it’s kind of hard to say. I’d pretty much discount fungal diseases, only because you say it’s “eating away” at the leaves and most fungi cause leaves to spot or yellow and then drop. Yes, there are tatter-leaf fungi that cause a leaf to look eaten, but powdery mildew isn’t one of them.

Caterpillers? Maybe. It’s kind of late in the northern zones for them, but you might be down south. And I did see a few green worms munching on some ornamental kale today, so it very well might still be an insect larvae of some form or another.

Aphids? Possibly, although they don’t really cause an eaten effect, but more of a shriveled leaf effect as they drain the juices out of the leaves. But as the honeydew on their back molds, they can definately look white, small, and fuzzy.

Mealy bugs? Scale? Again, it’s possible and they fit the description, but like aphids, they cause more sucking damage than chewing damage.

If it’s chewing damage, with little discoloration outside the chewed area, figure it’s most likely caterpillers or beetles. Most likely, spray with Diazinon which is a little like Raid for gardens (damn near all purpose), but do make sure you know what it is first and read the label.

If it’s a shriveled look with masses of white things under the leaves, you have a sucking insect such as scale, aphids, mealy bugs, etc. I’d say spray with Malathion which seems to work well for me on sucking insects and is slightly less potent than Diazinon.

If it’s a fruit tree that you plan to harvest from, do not use either of the above. Strongest chemical I’d recommend would be a carbyl based spray like Sevin.

If the leaves are yellowing or browning out in spots under the fuzziness and eventually the dead parts are breaking away or the entire leaf is yellowing out and dropping, get a good fungicide such as Daconil.

Or… (this is a long response, no?) figure your tree has a month left before autumn and all the leaves are going to fall off anyway and let nature take its course :wink:

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”