Black Cherry Aphids!! HELP!!

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by dasmodul, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. dasmodul

    dasmodul Member

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    Our beautiful cherry tree (4 years old) was virtually destroyed this summer by black cherry aphids. The tree survived, but all it's leaves, crops are gone. I cut all the branches a week ago (giving up the battle) and i just noticed today that even on the 10 new leaves that it has sprouted, there are MORE APHIDS on it already curling the leaves.

    This is the first year I've had this problem and NOTHING has worked. Tried insecticidal soap spray...nothing. Tried various soap and water recipies...nothing. Tried hosing them off...no good, too many of them. I erraticated (or so I thought) the entire tree with soap and water and tearing off infested leaves 4 times this summer only to see another horde infest it 4 days later.

    How in heck do you rid of these plague bugs?! I don't want to lose my favorite tree to these things for next year. They already destroyed everything this year.

    Thanks.
     
  2. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    D--it's unusual (thankfully) for aphids to be so attracted to a plant. Occasionally we can figure out why, other times it just seems to be a random attack.

    Was there anything different regarding weather, fertilizer, or watering this year compared to the previous several? Stressed plants seem to be singled out for most aphid infestations.

    The other common cause is high amounts of nitrogen fertilizer, I forget if it's the nitrates or ammonium in the plant sap that seem to really attract aphids, but this has been demonstrated pretty often if I recall correctly.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Aphids suck sap only, in what fashion did these "destroy" your tree? Cutting the branches off wouldn't be helpful, unless they were dead. If these were still live, then really what has destroyed the tree is actually you, rather than the bugs - I've never seen aphids suck a tree dry, but maybe this particular kind is more destructive.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r105300811.html says

    "The best time to control black cherry aphid is during the dormant or delayed dormant period. If control has not been achieved during the dormant period, treatment should be applied shortly after petal fall, when the aphids first appear."
     
  5. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Are you prone to ants?

    Doug
     
  6. dasmodul

    dasmodul Member

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    Okay, haven't been back in a while but to answer a few of the questions posed:

    1) Tree was destroyed because 99% of all leaves were curled up from the honeydew of the aphids and were completely covered with them. SO I plucked the leaves.

    2) Ants, yes, the area I live in has a HUGE ant problem and around the time of this sad occurance, they were especially running rampant. Seems to have gotten a lot better this year.

    3) I have noticed my mom had added a lot of fertilizer around where the tree is (for other shrubs growing in the area). I've now read that trees don't need much if any fertilizer so I wonder if that contributed to the attacks.
     
  7. Madi

    Madi Member

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    Hi dasmodul
    Just wondering what happened to your cherry tree as mine is under attack by these blasted aphids now. Very wet lonnnnggg spring!
    Anyone else Western Canada got the same problem? Thanks all
     
  8. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    I have 4 cherry trees, both sweet and sour; and aphids would be a severe problem if I didn't control them. The best control that I've found in this area (Burnaby, BC) is to keep ants off the trees by using a band of Tanglefoot around the trunk of each tree. The Tanglefoot will keep the ants away, and the aphids do not proliferate without ants to help them along. There are lots of pesticides available for controlling aphids, but I rarely need to use them.
     
  9. Madi

    Madi Member

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    Thanks Vitog

    I did go out and purchase ladybugs and tanglefoot. I don't want to use chemicals as I don't want to poison the birds or me so hoping these will take care of it. Thanks for the reply and the new hope :)
    Madi
     
  10. British Git

    British Git Member

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    I live in Toronto, and planted a young cherry tree 4 years ago. The next summer we had a small but delicious crop of fruit. Then came the aphids and since then the tree has been strangled by them. We too cut it back last fall, primarily to make it easier to spray.
    I am thankful to say that we have not killed it - I see growth along the branches.
    I thank you for your all comments. I am going to invest in tanglefoot, although I cannot say I have seen many ants in the top part of the garden. But it so disheartening seeing all the leaves curled black through the whole summer, so I will try anything.
     
  11. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    If ants are "ranching" the aphids, you should see a steady stream of them going up and down the trunk of the tree. However, that will only happen after large numbers of aphids are present on the leaves. Since the ants actually help to overwinter the aphids underground and then carry them up to the branches in the spring, it would be a good idea to use tanglefoot to prevent the ants from depositing the aphids in the first place.
     
  12. cagreene

    cagreene Active Member

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    Being an organic (hobby) farmer, I have tried many different kitchen brews to rid my trees and plants of aphids and ants, this is what i found worked best in my yard.- I grow my own nicotiana rustica plants for their insecticide and weed killer. the plant has beautiful butter yellow flowers that smell surprisingly sweet,the flowers should be dead headed as the seeds will spread easily and take over the yard, it will grow in any climate, as I have grown it in my garden while residing in Yellowknife, NWT. nicotiana rustica has the highest concentration of naturally found nicotine, it has been used by south american tribes as an insecticide( to kill army ants,and other varieties) and weed killer for many years. although it will kill weeds,and herbs, it wont harm trees and roses. I use 5 fresh leaves, of medium size, in 2 quarts of water. boil for 2 hrs, strain, use 5 mls per 1L water in spray bottle, and spray the ant hills and along their trails. -for spraying directly on plants, I use 5mls, to 4l of water, shake well then spray/mist on plants where aphids are present, after the sun goes down, i usually spray the trees again with clean water the next morning( may take 2 applications). to kill weeds in cracks of sidewalk or driveway, use first mix, and spray directly on the weeds, before high noon, the sun will bake them dead, never to bother you again.
     
  13. Madi

    Madi Member

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    I did use the tanglefoot (think next time I will just use double sided tape) and ladybugs - problem solved!
     
  14. janeslogin

    janeslogin Member

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    We bought property with two infested cherry trees. One died. We are now in our second year and in a stalemate in our battle with aphids.

    Someone , at UCDavis I think, suggested getting a different variety of cherries and giving up on these, whatever they may be.
     
  15. blackaphid

    blackaphid New Member

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    Hi there, I just wanted to respond in this thread that these aphids can defo suck a small tree dry of sap.

    Although we are in New Zealand, but I know from living by UBC that our climates are very similar, to the south island of NZ.

    I had a 2 or 3 year old tree that I loved dearly as it had lovely tart and sweet heritage cherries, I knew its mother. But even though I regularly tended to the tree and used every organicky spray I could find a recipe for and make, one day I went on hols for the weekend came back and the tree was super infested. I couldn't believe we could get thousands back on there in a few days but we did.

    I can get another baby tree but to be honest I am trying to find out the organic cures before I even bother. It was the saddest thing and like I said, I thought I was on top of the infestation but it only took 3 days to reinfest and suck suck suck it into twigs.

    My supreme sympathy to those who have lost trees and don't turn your back on these buggers for long! I wish I had even gone non organic just until the tree was big enough to fight better.

    PS we don't really have ants in Christchurch so I am not able to lean on them for help :( And honestly you would need 1000s of ladybirds to check the amount of filthy black swarms we had.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  16. blackaphid

    blackaphid New Member

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    Hiya just wanted to mention that I have found a commerically available product that does deter aphids off ornamental cherries at least.

    I am in New Zealand, but it is called : Yates : Conqueror spraying oil. It contains "mineral oil in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate."

    I was getting the black peril back on my grafted ornamental weeping cherry, but have been using this every 4 weeks during spring and now summer and it is killing / deterring black aphids.

    Obviously not everyone would want to eat cherries off the sprayed tree, but the product doesn't really seem that toxic, on my skin and that.

    I think infected trees have to be saved first and and then you at least have the option to consider organic / edibleness later on.
     

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