What's eating my magnolia?

I bought a black tulip magnolia this spring, but a few months after it started getting eaten. I have sprayed it a few times with a general multi purpose insect killer but to no affect. I read online about the vine weevil, but looking at images I am not sure if that is what is causing the damage. I have attached a few pictures, is anyone able to help identify my unwelcome pest and recommend how I can protect my magnolia?


  • I'm having trouble attaching pictures, so I'll try and describe it. On some leaves there is lots of brown damage whilst on others they are completely eaten, with circular chunks completely eaten, whilst only the skeleton the the leaf remains. It tend to be in patches in the middle of the leaf rather than from the outside of the leaf inwards. some times I can see track marks which looks like a slug has gone across the leaves, however I can't find any slugs or caterpillars on the underside of the leaves.

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     Figured out how to attach pictures - turns out you need patience image

  • Flora rosaFlora rosa Posts: 260

    Possibly leaf spot, do you water the foliage or get it wet? Try not to, meanwhile, you'll need to get rid of the affected leaves and be sure to rake up those fallen off. 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,476

    If I'm not mistaken, you have captured the culprit in that last photo.  Here's a blow-up of what looks like a caterpillar on the leaf:


    I has similar on one of mine and because it is still a small tree, carefully went over each leaf and picked them off.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks for your replies, the brown leaf does resemble leaf spot so it could be that, I try not the wet the leaves when watering, but the leaves will have got wet in the recent rain showers we have had.

    ill have a look tonight again for caterpillars. I couldn't see any when I took the pictures - I'm not sure if the green patch is a hole in the leaf and the grass or a green leaf from below. I'll have another look though just incase

  • Invicta2Invicta2 Posts: 663

    Doesn't look like slug damage, but be aware that slugs and snails are very partial to Magnolia.

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    It is caterpillar damage. Time of year for them.

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