What's eating my fever tree?

  • mossie
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9 years 5 months ago #7888 by mossie
mossie created the topic: What's eating my fever tree?
Hi

There is nothing nicer than moving into a new house, where you can dictate what you want in the garden, and to what effect. So my wife and I started out with this ideal, that we were to go for 100% indigenous (with the exception of a 100year old oak), with a large proportion of those plants being endemic species to the highveld. The intention being of course to attract indigenous birds to the garden, and beef up the bird list.

Well, the impact on the bird list to date, has been relatively satisfying, with a lot of tree fuscia, Aloe, Knophia and Crasula species bringing in sunbirds on a daily basis in winter, but the indigenous garden has also come with a few major surprises: the bugs!!!

Yes, for every indigenous plant, there is an indigenous nunu that wants to eat it! The low maintenance, easy growing hardy indigenous thing is a bit of a myth, and in reality, within a few years, you land up with an entire ecosystem of creatures all trying to make a living off each other. My macro lens is working over time, to capture all these bugs, some of which appear to come from the twilight zone.



This last picture definitely takes the cake, as far as garden mystery intrigue goes. Having watched my Kigelleria and Orange river lilies being devoured in front of my eyes, for the life of me, I could not figure out what was eating my fever tree, and even more weird, only the one on the right? Not a sign of a creature anywhere! Every time a few new leaves sprout, the same little monster comes and munches them, without a trace.

It took a month to figure out who was responsible for the carnage. I came home from work one afternoon to find a flock of about 6 grey go-away birds walking along the branches and munching away, as though it was a buffet table. And when I got out the car and looked at them, they stared back, and carried on munching. I almost had to knock them out the tree to get them to leave. I have also noticed my coral tree got a bit munched!

So my question, is there anybody out there who can explain why they would only graze from the one tree, and not the other? The trees were planted at the same time, but are from different nurseries.

Mossie

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  • Peregrinedive
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9 years 5 months ago #7891 by Peregrinedive
Peregrinedive replied the topic:
I wonder if it is not to do with cover?

Note that your tree on the left has the neighbours tree growing over the wall. You may find that the Louries feel vulnerable feeding in that tree, perhaps a fear of cats or other predators?

Regards,
Abe

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