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in Problem solving
Each year about this time, my 20' high stella cherry is raided for its young leaves. It is about 75% denuded, leaving ripped and ragged little stumps. In a few weeks time, my cherry crop will be stripped off completely before it even starts to ripen. I never see the culprits but suspect wood pigeons. Anyone else suffer this damage and is it pigeons or all types of bird doing this? Even netting does not deter them, as they find the smallest gaps to get their prize.
Starlings have always stripped my morello cherry before it is ripe - they descend in a flock on the tree at about 4 a.m. and snaffle the lot, just leaving the pips hanging there. I've never had the problem with leaves being picked, though.
Pigeons is right. Ours have stripped all the stone fruit leaves this year and will probably kill the apricot
I'm obviously too late a riser to witness this piracy but it's certainly a flock of something taking the leaves but something smaller and craftier, perhaps starlings, grabbing all the fruit. Thank heaven I don't do this commercially!