What's this growing on my apple tree!??

Hi guys,

Just noticed this grey thing growing on my apple tree - like some sort of nest, or cocoon? A bit creepy to be honest, any idea what this is? Should we get rid of it? If yes how? It has completely grown attached to the stem...Will it burst if we touch it!?




Any help greatly appreciated!
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,866
    edited 19 May
    If there is no sign of life around it, it is a deserted wasp nest.

    Beautifully made from chewed up wood pulp, nature’s own paper, they are a work of art. 

    If you are sure that there are no wasps using it, you can detach it from the branch, cut it open and delight in the cleverness of insects.😊

    Incidentally, wasps are the gardener’s friend. They feed their grubs (normally inside the nest) on all kinds of other insects and caterpillars, saving you the bother of buying harmful chemicals.

    And contrary to popular belief, wasps aren’t out to sting human beings. They only sting human beings if human beings pose a threat to them by waving their arms around.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 679
    Could be a wasp nest.
    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 831
    pansyface said:

    And contrary to popular belief, wasps aren’t out to sting human beings. They only sting human beings if human beings pose a threat to them by waving their arms around.
    or, in my experience, if you mow over the entrance to their nest or cut down a sycamore tree which falls onto their nest. I don't recommend doing either of those things...

    They are great for eating aphids though!
  • pansyface said:
    If there is no sign of life around it, it is a deserted wasp nest.

    Hi pansyface, 

    Any tips on how to ascertain if there is life around it? When we looked at it there's nothing buzzing around it, but we are not sure if there is anything inside. 

    It was attached to a low hanging branch that was overshadowed by some roses above. We cut the roses back recently and let the branch come up for a bit more sunlight, and only just noticed it. It's pretty obscured from sight so I've no idea how long it's been there!
  • pansyface said:
    If there is no sign of life around it, it is a deserted wasp nest.

    Hi pansyface, 

    Any tips on how to ascertain if there is life around it? When we looked at it there's nothing buzzing around it, but we are not sure if there is anything inside. 

    It was attached to a low hanging branch that was overshadowed by some roses above. We cut the roses back recently and let the branch come up for a bit more sunlight, and only just noticed it. It's pretty obscured from sight so I've no idea how long it's been there!
    Never mind it's definitely still in use!! Just observed it some more and saw a bee/wasp going into it!! And then he came straight out and started building the nest some more, so I think they are just getting started...

    I'm a little worried they will build it to be massive, how big are wasp nests likely to be? 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,933
    Most of the similar looking ones I've seen don't get much bigger than a fist, but some species do produce large nests.  Any chance you could take a photo while it is building?
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Most of the similar looking ones I've seen don't get much bigger than a fist, but some species do produce large nests.  Any chance you could take a photo while it is building?
    It's gone inside or away now... I'll try later but it is quite hidden behind some leaves and I don't want to disturb it! The one wasp I saw going in and out looked pretty ordinary -- like a common wasp. Not huge or anything, if it just flew around the garden I wouldn't have noticed it as out of place. So not sure if that was the queen or just a worker. 

    We get lots of bees in the garden too, but this is probably a wasp (or a hornet?? eeek) as these are the slender yellow stripy ones. 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,118
    In my experience hornets nest in hollow trees ... and they’re bigger and browner than wasps and tend to be about more in the evening. 

    In in my opinion that’s a wasps nest ... unless you have someone in your household with a serious allergy the best thing to do is to leave it alone anc let the wasps get on with eating your greenfly
    https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/wasp-nests.html

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Most of the similar looking ones I've seen don't get much bigger than a fist, but some species do produce large nests.  Any chance you could take a photo while it is building?
    So I've had a look on the internet and it looks quite similar to the stock pictures on german wasp nest... if these are german wasps, any idea what this means? Eeek
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,118
    I always thought that German wasps tend to build their nests underground ... but wasps tend not to read the books saying what they should do. 
    German wasps are one of the several types of wasp commonly found in the UK ... no better and no worse than any of the others 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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