Sticky, messy trees? Perhaps you can save your tree AND eliminate the mess.
Do you have a tree that is leaving a sappy mess on your driveways, vehicles or landscape? This is actually caused by aphid infestation…. And is treatable!
Here are a few words from Kory Burton, ISA Certified Arborist #WE6714‐A, to help.
“Aphids, when in small numbers, do little damage to a tree; however, under favorable conditions the aphid population can grow very rapidly and cause serious damage to the tree during the growing season. Aphids attack trees by sucking the sap out of the leaves. The symptoms are very visible on the leaves in the form of multiple puckered marks, white, “cotton” enclosures surrounding some types of aphids, yellowing, and twisting of the leaves which gives the appearance of deformed leaves. As the severity of the aphid infestation increases, leaf drop and twig and branch die-back can be seen.
Trees in our Sacramento area that are typically impacted by aphids can include, but may not be limited to: hackberry, crape myrtle, Chinese elm, red oaks, birch, redbud, plum, tulip and various maples.
Merit Treatment – Merit is a type of aphid treatment that can be applied directly to foliage/ canopy by spraying, or it can be applied to the soil through soil drenching or soil injections. Foliar application is usually used when the chemical was not applied prior to the infestation and the current aphid population must be controlled. While it works very well, the downsides to a foliar application include a higher cost and the application only treats aphids currently on the tree. After rains or an extended period of time it is possible to have another infestation later in the season.
Soil drenching or soil injections tend to be the preferred method of treatment. The chemical is placed into the soil where it can then be absorbed into the tree through the root system. Once in the system, the tree will be able to defend itself against aphids and scale for up to one year. An advantage to soil injecting or drenching it that it tends to be much cheaper as less chemical is used. One disadvantage is that the chemical must be applied to trees prior to the growing season. Winter to early spring injections tends to be the “window” for this type of treatment.”
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