Lemon tree - what is eating all the leaves?


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Hello!

I have a young Lemon tree which I keep in a pot outdoors. I have found that overnight that something has eaten all the leaves off my lemon tree overnight. Every single leave has been stripped clean leaving only Systems and branches. this has happened couple of times already on a couple of my smaller plants, therefore I have been diligent in checking the plants every day at night for any insects which may be on the plants. I have not noticed any type of insects on the lemon tree apart from leaf miners.

Does anyone know what could be doing this? Upon doing some research, the only things which I have narrowed down to are hornworms, which I read could devour the leaves completely from a plant overnight, or some sort of mammal. We live in an area where there are a lot of possums around, but I have very little knowledge of the behaviours of possums and their diet - i didn’t think they would be eating leaves off a lemon tree.

How can I prevent this sort of activity in the future?

Thank you!
 

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Possums are the culprits. The do eat Citrus, leaves and fruit. I understand that usually the Brush-tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is responsible. I believe Australian possums are legally protected from any trapping or hunting, so barriers and repellents are your two main options. I don't know how effective repellents will bee or which ones work best. Local nurseries and hardware stores may sell pre-made repellents and there are also homemade recipes. Ingredients might include blood, rotten eggs, quassia chips, pyrethrum, capsaicin, garlic, tea, etc.
 
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Hi Marck,

Yes! There are heaps of brushtail possums in my area. I will have to look into repellents and barriers.

In relation to my lemon tree. Is there still hope for its survival? Is there anything I could be doing to help it through its trauma?
 
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If your lemon (Citrus x limon) can be protected from further trauma it will likely recover. As you can see, it can also photosynthesize through its young green stems so that will help it produce food while it regrows. At first, it will probably need less water because there will be less water transpiration without leaves.
 
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