Apple trees and aphids

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by maxmillan, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. maxmillan

    maxmillan Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver
    I planted a nine feet tall ambrosia apple tree and the new leaves have aphids and ants. Some parts of the branches have a white cotton-like little mass on it. I wipe
    it off with mint leaves everyday. It's getting less but I wonder if this will kill my tree or prevent fruiting. The affected branches have a gnawed look from where the cotton stuff was. The young leaves from the aphids are curled in.

    What can I do to prevent future aphids and cottony mass? No chemicals, please. Can I plant mint around it or some other companion plants? Would a mulch spray of mint and alcohol prevent this?

    I have a dwarf apple tree with four types of apples graft. It seems only the Macintosh leaves are affected, too, but with just aphids.

    What to do, what to do?!
     
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Keep ants off with Tree Tanglefoot. That will reduce the aphid problem considerably.
     
  3. David Payne Terra Nova

    David Payne Terra Nova Active Member

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    Buy this "Safer's Insecticidal Soap". And a hose end sprayer. Aphids have what's called an exoskeleton and you have to physically spray the soap onto the body of the insect to kill it. A water spray will work too, as it washes the aphids off the plant and breaks off their feeding tube.

    Another alternative is to buy a midge called "Aphedaletes" But these are seasonal and you won't get any for this year now.

    As suggested by Vitog, Tanglefoot Paste or spray can be applied to a saran wrapped trunk to control the ants from climbing up and down the tree. That way the good insects will have a chance to get to the aphids.

    By the way, I don't recommend using ladybugs/ladybeatles. They tend to fly away and waste your money. Release about ten Midges per tree and they will stay and also overwinter in the soil below multiplying for the next year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  4. Indignation

    Indignation New Member

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    There are some good ideas here. I have pretty much the same problem as maxmillan, just assumed that the Ladybugs would come on their own and clear it all up. All the time believing that the ants are just harvesting the aphid juices, but thinking about it the ants are likely repelling the ladybugs when they turn up!
     
  5. Lykewake7

    Lykewake7 New Member

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    A trap crop of Nasturtium is ideal.They will attract the aphids and beneficial insects in abundance. A useful bonus is that both flowers and leaves are edible too.
     

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