Help - Newbie Gardener - leaves curling on new growth

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Hi all,

We have a ficus tuffi hedge about three years old. Over the past month one of the trees is seeing extreme leaf curling. The leaves are rolling into a banana shape in some cases. It’s affecting one tree and now starting to affect the neighbouring tree. The key thing is that it is ONLY affecting NEW GROWTH. The leaves are totally fine on the inside of the tree, just the new growth over the past month is seeing leaf curling.

We have a irrigation system so it’s getting plenty of water. I tried googling and that was no help as one website said it was under watered and another said over watered.

I am wondering if it could be a disease of some sort? Please help me out!

Pictures attached

Thanks
OB
 

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Greetings, welcome to the Forums.

I believe Ficus 'Tuffi' or 'Tuffy' is a cultivar (or common name) of Indian Laurel-fig (Ficus microcarpa) that is cultivated in New Zealand.

The damage to your tree looks similar to the damage caused by the Ficus Leaf-rolling Psyllid (Trioza brevigenae). Are you finding very small insects inside the curled leaves? Examine a number of leaves and use a hand-lens if necessary.
 
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Hi Marck,

Thanks for your reply. We are located in Auckland in New Zealand so your comment makes sense.

I have had a look at the underside / inside of the curled leaves and can see some small insects on a few of them. Some are very small and light brown which are barely visible, and some are darker and a few millimeters in size. They are only on a few leaves, not all over the plant.

Do you have an idea how to treat this? Is there a spray to use?

Thanks,
OB
 
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Is it possible for you to take macro-photographs of the insects you found? I'm not certain we talking about the same pest. I would also contact horticultural or environmental authorities in New Zealand and find out if Trioza brevigenae or another insect or disease is causing symptoms such as you have discovered. If this is a new pest in New Zealand, they may want to take preemptive action to control it. It was only discovered in California five or six years ago, so it may be in the process of spreading more widely. Trioza brevigenae is originally native to northern India.
 

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