The Carolina Buckthorn seems to be recovering from its earlier infestation of Asian Soybean Aphids. Those plants that hosted just a few aphids appear almost normal.
Plants that were hardest hit still show the curled leaves that afforded shelter to the aphid colonies.
Despite their odd appearance, the damaged leaves remain alive and green. I assume they are still performing their photosynthetic duties, but at a much less efficient level.
New leaves are developing in a normal manner. It’s encouraging to see that they aren’t yet showing any signs of drought stress. These plants are growing on an extremely dry site and most of the other plant species in the area are looking distinctly wilted.
Presence of the Asian Soybean Aphids on the Carolina Buckthorns is a fairly recent phenomenon. I imagine now that they are here, the aphids will continue to be an annual event. Being at the extreme northern edge of their range already puts the buckthorns under a certain amount of stress. Dealing with annual aphid damage will certainly add to that stress. I’m wondering how long it will be before I begin seeing a dieoff of Carolina Buckthorn.
I took this as a bit of positive news. A few of the plants are producing a bit of fruit. Of course I’m also aware of the fact that stress can act as a stimulus to produce more fruit before death occurs. I guess I’ll just have to wait a few years to see how things are trending.