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Treating for aphids after the fact

We have an apricot tree which has been producing nice leaves but no buds/fruit yet. However, last year while we were away we got aphids, and by the time we got home, the leaves were already curling and falling off. 

Tree still seems to be ok, but they left a white residue on the branches. Wondering what treatment we should apply as spring approaches? Do we need to scrape the residue off the branches? Should we treat with Neem Oil?

Thanks in advance!

Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,201
    Neem oil is unecessary for aphids really. The white residue is likely to be made up of their shed skins so can be brushed off or washed off if they're stuck on. If you get a repeat infestation then a spray of soapy water sorts them out. Ecover Zero always works well for me.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,232
    Yes - just keep an eye out for any infestations and spray them with a jet of water, soapy or plain, or wipe them off. It may need a bit of extra vigilance if there's a lot of them, but it's worth doing.
    Encouraging small birds into the garden near the tree by using a feeder, can also pay dividends, as they'll eat them up. Blue and great tits are particularly fond of them  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,201
    Fairygirl said:
    Yes - just keep an eye out for any infestations and spray them with a jet of water, soapy or plain, or wipe them off.
    I read recently that some aphids drop off the plant when threatened and then the young ones ride the adults back onto the plants when danger has passed. I don't know if they all do that but plain water gives them the chance to try so I'm sticking with the soapy stuff.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,232
    That's interesting w.edges. Not heard that one, and I now have a vision in my head of piggy-backing greenfly!
    Apparently the soap makes them explode.
    Hope you've had your breakfast yosh!  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    Fairygirl said:
    Apparently the soap makes them explode.
    Is it terrible that I kinda want to switch to the soap method now? 😏

    I usually just blast them with a jet of plain water from the hosepipe.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,232
    I discovered that quite a long time ago Kitty and I was conflicted!
    Nowadays, I have very little greenfly, for two reasons. I don't grow a lot of plants which are susceptible, and I have lots of little resident blue tits  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,286
    edited February 2019
    Vitax do a winter tree wash. It is considered organic and safe. I do not know when you use it, whether it is too late this year?
    I just looked it up but not got time to search for the time of year use.
    Maybe one to consider in future years to help keep the little bugg**s at bay.
    Only RHS organic recommended one apparently.

    I agree that blue and great tits love aphids, but they seem to like the green ones better that those horrible big black or dark brown ones.

    The ones I can reach I squish by fingers, it is yucky especially the big dark ones, but helps.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,361
    The trouble with the soapy method is it affects the good guys too so not good for ladybirds and lacewings.   On indoor plants, I bung them in the shower and blast them with a spray after first squishing as many as possible by hand.   I have an oriental hibiscus which is prone to them after being outdoors last summer.

    In the garden I leave it to the birds which I encourage with feeders nearby altho I do keep an eye on any new and younger roses to help them with squishing if the ladybirds and tots are a bit late..
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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