Ants on Cherry Tree

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by chester5139, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. chester5139

    chester5139 Member

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    The ants wander up to the little nubs of the new leaves (as in this picture), waggle their antennae about for a bit, and then wander away. Are they doing any damage to my cherry tree?

    I don't see any aphids on the leaves but there are some unknown bugs (black and round) under the leaves causing the leaves to curl inwards. Any suggestions?
     

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  2. blueberry

    blueberry Member

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    The black bugs are likely aphids. Not sure what the ants are doing but I had lots of ants run up and down my fruit trees farming aphids.

    The aphids would basically destroy the leaves.
    This year I put a band of tanglefoot on some saran wrap around the trunks of my tree and that has basically stopped the ant situation and now the ladybugs can snack on all of the aphids. I've noticed a significant drop in aphids now on my trees.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    The "little nubs" are nectaries, which do attract attract ants. I found an interesting statement on a UCLA botany page:
    Blueberry indicated that ladybugs are doing a better job of aphid control, but if the ladybugs were not there, it would seem that having ants would be preferable to not having ants.
     
  4. chester5139

    chester5139 Member

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    Thanks Wendy. In other words, ants are actually beneficial to my cherry tree and I should leave the ants alone? Are the ants doing anything to the nectaries causing the new leaves to close up (other than to curl inwards)?

    I know it is the aphids that are causing the leaves to curl inwards. How can I be sure whether it is the ants that are farming those aphids?
     
  5. KimberlyKid

    KimberlyKid Member

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    Thanks for your excellent photo Chester, you show the little "nibs" (?) that I thought were galls. Wendy answered my puzzle by calling them Nectaries. They are shown in my post "Cherry Tree Mystery" , your pic is better.
    KimberlyKid
     

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