Woolly Aphids on Apple Trees
One of the major pests for apple trees are Woolly aphids. They are a small sap sucking insect that can cause enormous damage to Apple trees if left uncontrolled.
First appearing as a woolly substance on the branches and trunk of apple trees they can cause dieback in an extreme case and a lot of other damage in less sever cases. The three main methods of control for Woolly aphids are organic sprays, systemic chemical sprays and natural predators
Woolly aphids appear in early autumn the woolly coating covers the insects and the white coating is usually the first sign of infection. The aphids will eventually eat into the stems and cause gaulls and then suck sap from the tree allowing fungus to become established. Areas where pruning has taken place seem to be particularly susceptible, many growers spray with a lime sulphur spray after pruning.
Wooly aphids will also attack pear trees, elms and other plants.
Woolly Aphid Control
Natural predators for woolly aphids do exist and these include lady beetles and lacewings, however in sever infestation other remedies will need to be looked at.
Some organic pesticides including pyrethrum sprays and horticultural oils can be used to control smaller infestations, in commercial orchards systemic pesticides are the solution.
Systemic chemical control sprays will penetrate the bark and kill of the aphids, remember to spray the ground as well as the branches as woolly aphids will also form on any exposed roots.
Ensure that the trees are in goog condition and not under stress, trees that are stressed are more susceptible to disease. In Australia this often means watering during the dryer m onths.
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