We have a freshly budding Maple tree in our back yard (though it seems
a bit early this year). My wife seems to think that it's dripping a
residue which I would be inclined to think is Aphid activity since
we've had problems with Aphids in the past with our Maple trees. I
don't recall however, having the issue at the 'budding' stage before
so... What steps to the experienced or experts suggest for budding
Maple trees where Aphids are concerned... ? We don't like to spray
unless necessary because of our dog and cats but... HATE the Aphids
and their 'sap', just the same... :-)
Any help is appreciated and TIA...
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Aphids are in general a pain, but they do little to no harm to the
tree. If you elect to 'treat' the aphid infestation, you may very well
kill off the very insects that control aphids, hence creating an endless
loop of infestation.
A client of mine had an aphid problem in a birch tree which was next to a
parking area. The cars would get covered with honeydew which would create
a black mold on the car. She would have the tree treated twice a year...
and it wasn't cheap. This was a large tree. After her husband complained
about the cost of the treatments which didn't really solve the problem,
they asked me to cut the tree down even though they liked it. I suggested
that they waited out the season ( I was way busy anyways) and to do a few
things to manage the tree. They agreed.
First thing was to hose the tree with a garden hose and a sweeper
nossle every few days. Blast the buggers off the tree, once off they die.
The second was to water the tree deeply once a week and to fertilize it.
Latter that summer the tree was -COVERED- with ladybugs. There were
thousands of them and just as many nymphs. This tree is still standing and
has been left untreated for 4 years now. Yes there are still aphid
infestations, but they don't last very long.
In the long run, if you find yourself treating this tree every season, you
really should ask yourself if it's truly worth the cost of treatment and
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