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Help! White furry stuff on apple tree!!!

Discussion in 'Trees' started by elliegreenwellie, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. elliegreenwellie

    elliegreenwellie Gardener

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    Hi Guys,

    Me again hoping for your wisdom!!! I have just returned from a 10 day holiday to find loads of patches of white stuff (looks like cotton wool) on my apple tree. At first I thought it was a fungus then noticed it is full of eggs. I touched it and it is sticky a lot like candifloss but white. Any ideas? I plan to s****e it all off tonight (if it's not too late now with this rain. Aside from all the usual aphids and flys the only thing I saw on the tree were three red spiders.

    What is going on with bugs this year? Is it the warm spring? I had no problems last year this year every plant seems to have it's own infestation of something or other!

    Thanks again for any thoughts.

    Cheers EGW xx
     
  2. Palustris

    Palustris Total Gardener

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    Woolly aphids or scale insects. The wool is a wax waterproofing. If only a few dab them with methylated spirits and s c r a p e off. If a lot then wash off with a brush and some soapy water, or on a bigger tree, try a power spray (set so it does not dmage the bark!).

    [ 13. June 2007, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: Palustris ]
     
  3. elliegreenwellie

    elliegreenwellie Gardener

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    Thanks Palutris! My garden is a kind of Aphid oasis at the moment!! I should have guessed it would be another kind!

    Is there any benefit in spryaing the effected bits with bug killer after I have s****ed them off?

    Why does s****e come up with stars in it? It's not a rude word as far as I'm aware!
     
  4. elliegreenwellie

    elliegreenwellie Gardener

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    Okay so I have done a bit of research and think the best solution to my hoards of aphids is to get some ladybird or lacewing lavea, as I haven't seen either in the garden this year. So assume I shouldn't spray anything as it will affect these guys. Any advice on which is best, how to apply and whether I can use either on my appletree as well? Cheers EGW xx
     
  5. Palustris

    Palustris Total Gardener

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    Ladybirds and lacewings are good for ordinary aphids, but they cannot get through the wax covering on wooly aphids and they do not eat scale insects.
    Personally I never spray my fruit trees with anything when there is fruit or blossom on.
     
  6. elliegreenwellie

    elliegreenwellie Gardener

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    Thanks Palutris I will scrub off the woolly ones with soapy water and a scrubbing brush and will probably still get some ladybirds for all the other aphids in the garden on my roses, fushias etc! Then on to the snail problem......

    This gardening lark - it keeps you on your toes!
     
  7. walnut

    walnut Gardener

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    Ellie as Pal says blast the wooly aphids off with a power washer you can get sprays but not advisable if you have fruit on. ladybirds are good for the rest of your aphids but are expensive to buy and usually scatter themselves far and wide you can't train them to stay on your patch, they are ideal if you have an infestation in your g/house.Your snail problem long term build a small pond in your garden make it frog friendly and these will keep the slugs down.The problem with the aterisks appearing is the middle 4 letters of the word you have typed make a word that is considered offensive and is automatically filtered out.
     
  8. elliegreenwellie

    elliegreenwellie Gardener

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    Cheers Walnut - I was a bit concerned about the �£18 for the lavea and then another �£18 for he house to overwinter them in! They'll probably all just bog off next door where they have far more established plants! I saw one ladybird yesterday hopefully he's got some friends nearby! Also quite a number of the patches of wooly aphids had red spiders running around near them - I assume these are an aphid predator and should be left alone?

    I only managed to get about half the tree done last night, they are everwhere. It's amazing what happens when you go on holiday and take your eye off the ball for just a few days!

    Re the aphids on my roses I am just knocking them off on to the ground - will this suffice or do I need to kill them?

    Thankfully I have one or two frogs in the garden already but I think they are seriously outnumbered! Next door have admitted they have a serious snail population however as their plants are established, they don't see to bother with them and they are all climbing over my stone wall to nibble on my new climbers. It is never ending, the only thing for it is to go out every night and round up the new ones!

    Thanks again EGW
     
  9. daitheplant

    daitheplant Total Gardener

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    I think your problem is not aphid but red spider mite. You say you have seen red spiders ? how big were they? David.
     
  10. Palustris

    Palustris Total Gardener

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    If you can see them and they are red, then they are not red spider mite which are too small to see with the naked eye and are brown!
     
  11. daitheplant

    daitheplant Total Gardener

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    I disagree palustris, red spider mite can grow up to 1mm long and so are visible to the naked eye. David.
     
  12. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    I agree red spider are not red, and as to wether you can see them or not with the naked eye depends on how good your eyes are.
    I used to be able to see them but these days I need a hand lense.
    There is a bright red insect that crawls around pretty slowly that tends to get mistaken for red spider, but that is really bright red, red spider mite tend to be yellowish green I find with black spots on the back.
    I also think there is far too much concern about one or two sprays of the appropriate substance during the growing season.
    I left the aphids on my peach trees this year for the ladybirds to sort out, I now have two trees with very little leaf left, and I had to spray to save that.
    Indescriminate use with a sprayer is another thing.
     
  13. elliegreenwellie

    elliegreenwellie Gardener

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    Hi Pete,

    I knew they weren't red spider mite and assumed they were just a type of red spider and as they were near the aphids I assumed they were probably a predator and have left them. I got up on a ladder and scrubbed off all the wooly aphids with soapy water. They have not returned on those patches. I do have a few patches in areas I couldn't reach which is a slight worry as I did notice where I scrubbed them off that they had done quite a bit of damage to the bark which I know makes the tree more susceptable to problems. I am trying valiently not to spray my anything on my garden though almost every plant seems to have it's own aphid infestation. The ladybirds seem to be givng us a wide birth this year unfortunately! Last year we had lacewings but I am yet to see one of them also! We had our whole garden landscaped in spring so perhaps we destroyed the ladybirds home! I am thinking of ordering some lavea but that along with the lay bird house is really quite expensive! after several thousand pounds on the hard landscaping etc, I seem to be spending at least �£50 a week at the moment on plants etc - this gardening lark is getting quite expensive! That said I absolutely love it and it's money well spent. Will have to relent I think and fork out for the lady birds - my husband will think I am mad!!!
     
  14. Palustris

    Palustris Total Gardener

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    One other point about mites, they have 10 legs being crustaceans.
     

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