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Apple tree with small insects in leaves?


 
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bluebelldell
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Joined: 29 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:43 pm    Post subject: Apple tree with small insects in leaves? Reply with quote

If this is in the wrong place please move..
I noticed this morning ants crawling up our 6 year old apple tree (crab I think)
On closer inspection I see that there are hundreds of little grub like - grey insects (tiny) on the back of the leaves which are curling, (the leaves that is)
I don't know what they are, probably common but I would like to know how to treat them and the tree if possible.
Under the tree there is a small fuchsia and some salvia hot lips growing so would like not to do any harm to them if at all possible.

thanks for any help .


Last edited by bluebelldell on Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds to me you may have a type of aphid which is farmed by ants; i had them on some sunflowers a few years back. the ants protect the aphids, and in exchange, get some sticky sap for their troubles.

it's kinda like an insect world version of racketeering.
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bluebelldell
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I never! I've spend a little bit of time watching this behaviour and fascinating as it is I'm a little worried for the tree, some of the branches seem quite brittle - searching the internet for a solution seems to involve washing up liquid in a water bottle but that hasn't worked.
I'd be happy to leave them but as I said I'm concerned for the tree, have had a look around the garden and nothing else seems to be infected - every leaf is covered in hundreds or even thousands of the buggers.
I might try the duct tape around the tree method to deter the ants and see where that gets me.
thanks....
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's the aphids i'd be dealing with first...
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bluebelldell
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you might be right!
The garlic oil painted onto the tree trunk has worked! No ants on trunk - however....
because one branch leans onto a wall, the pesky &%$&£*'s are now laying a trail up and down the wall, onto the branch and bypassing the trunk.....
hmmmm - back to the drawing board, (internet)
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aphids can be very difficult to get rid of, get rid of the aphids and the ants will leave. Spray with a washing up liquid solution of 1/2 a teaspoon to 1 liter of water, as you say the leaves curl up as if to protect the aphids so its not easy to get at them with the spray, my neighbor uses a power washer to good effect, repeat after two weeks, you need to pursue them relentlessly, i have them in my Beech hedge and they really are an awful pest.How big is the tree ?
If this does not work, look at a product called "Savona"
Regards Hammer
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bluebelldell
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that advice - most especially interested in an organic solution - was dreading going down the route of a 'pest spray' - 'savona' seems to be a handy item to add to my growing gardening 'must haves'
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gardenman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savona is good but difficult to get. SB Plant invigorator is the scientific version of the washing up liquid route. It kills the aphids by sticking them to the leaf where they starve rapidly. It really will do a great job. Should be available in most GC's. It also contains an inbuilt liquid feed and is perfectly safe and not a pesticide.
As for the wooly aphid on beech, different proposition. if you can buy lacewing larvae on line, they will attack them like a fox in a hen house. Best option without access to commercial grower pesticides. If you have access, a tank mix of Sb plant invigorator with Chess or Calypso will take care of them.
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