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  • What causes yellow speckled leaves?

    One of my trees has these yellow speckled leaves and I'm at a loss as to why. Most of the leaves are fine, and it's not only old or only young leaves. I'll post photos of the rest of the tree so you can see that it's not very many, but it stands out.

    Weather has been hot and dry and the fig is in a 5 gal sip, topped up daily. I don't see any real sign of pests, other than some smaller flys that like to hang out on my trees which seem to hang out on the bark and not the leaves.

    T​he affected leaves are quite affected while the unaffected leaves seem to be completely unaffected.

    The tree has been well fetilized w crf and water soluble throughout the growing season, as recently as a week or two ago. I treat all my trees pretty much the same and none of the others show similar symptoms.

    Nutrient deficiency? Invisible pests? Watering issues? Bacterial viral fungal?

    I should add that some leaves look like they have white splotches. That is leftover sulfur powder from a early season treatment which didn't seem to cause any negative issues.
    Attached Files
    Zone 3

  • #2
    Fig Mosaic Virus? (says this relative newbie)
    Mike
    Cobb County GA, 7b
    Wishlist: Bornholm/Nexöe, Cavaliere, Zaffiro

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    • FigsNorth
      FigsNorth commented
      Editing a comment
      A fair question. I have what I believe is FMV on my other trees but this looks different. The FMV leaves I have seen have a more characteristic mosaic pattern, whereas this is a distinct speckled pattern. Plus I think FMV often causes leaf distortions but the leaves on this tree all look pretty mucbrefular regular except for this yellow speckling.

  • #3
    It almost looks like spider mite damage from the pattern. Can anyone who has had spider mites on there figs recall what the feeding damage looked like?
    Zone 3

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    • FigsNorth
      FigsNorth commented
      Editing a comment
      These don't look like spider mite damage I'm used to -- the whitish/grey stippling. This is instead more a coarser yellow speckling.

  • #4
    I’ve noticed it on a few of my trees this year too.
    Olympia WA Zone 8A/8B
    Wishlist: Boysenberry Blush, CLBC

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    • FigsNorth
      FigsNorth commented
      Editing a comment
      Reba Any chance you have thrips -- those ultra tiny yellow fly-like insects? Would be interested to see a photo of your leaves to compare to mine.

  • #5
    Looks like spider mites. Check the undersides of leaves with magnifying glass.
    Worcester, Massachusetts, Zone 6a - In containers 1 gal - 15 gal. Wish list: Dore' de Porquerolles

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    • FigsNorth
      FigsNorth commented
      Editing a comment
      Did that today - none.

  • #6
    Just checked for spider mites today -- none, nada, zip! I'm usually pretty good at spotting them with the naked eye but I couldn't see any. To confirm, I shook the leaves of the tree over a piece of white paper. Not a single spider mite.

    However, I DID see a few thrips! Certainly not an infestation but 1 or 2 when I shook the leaves over the paper fell onto the paper. Did a few thrips make all that leaf damage? I guess it's possible but my tomatoes have about 25x more thrips on them right now and they aren't showing nearly any damage, and certainly not as bad a damage as the fig leaves.

    The yellow speckled pattern looks almost like the beginning stages of RUST, but it's been so bone dry here that it seems really unlikely. We had virtually no rain in June and July, nearly every day has been sunny and hot, and it's so dry here the ground is cracking and there is a fire ban in the city.

    So far, thrips is my only suspect.
    Zone 3

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    • #7
      FigsNorth
      I just found an image of a leaf that seems to be very similar to yours due to thrip damage. The picture t about half way down. I didn't know that they could do this either.
      http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/...cts/14-001.htm
      Last edited by CeeFigs; 08-05-2021, 08:14 PM. Reason: Corrected autocorrect 😄

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      • FigsNorth
        FigsNorth commented
        Editing a comment
        I took a look, thanks. Amazing how such little bugs can do that much damage! The thing that's still throwing me is that the damage from those photos looks more white/grey than the yellow I'm seeing. Were you seeing one with more yellowing?

        Edit: I think I see which one you meant. The photo quality is poor so I interpreted that as their color being off for the photo and that in real life it's more whittish grey. But maybe not...

    • #8
      I found a nest today under a leaf that looked like a different type of spider nest I’d not seen before. Pretty sure it is spider mites. Off to figure out best way to treat it.
      Olympia WA Zone 8A/8B
      Wishlist: Boysenberry Blush, CLBC

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      • #9
        I’ve had the same thing this year and yup it was thrips! This year has been wild with pests probably because of all the extra heat and rain at least for me in the Midwest

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