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I noticed today that there was a steady stream of black ants going up and down the trunk of the standard acer in the back garden. What are they doing? I think there has been a similar post some time ago, involving a cherry tree, but I cant find it and I cant remember what the outcome was.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    checking on the aphid farm image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391

    They are 'farming' aphids Lisa.  The ants feed off the sugary waste the aphids produce as they suck the sap of the tree.  You can apply a grease band to stop the ants - I use a thick layer of Vaseline around the trunk of my apple trees to stop them.  The ants also carry young aphids to new leaves.  Don't forget to kill the aphids now you know they are present - a spray with soapy water will do the trick.  

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,465

    Hi Lisa,

    I don't know how to post links to other threads but is the one you want 'stopping ants climbing cherry tree?'

    I found it when I searched those words...

  • lisa masseylisa massey Posts: 252

    OH the little buggers, well we'll soon put a stop to that. Thankyou everybody for the advice and info.

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Hi all,

    Re: the above post, will putting grease on the lower stem actually get the ants to move on?? They have taken residency in my acer pot and my Katsura root ball is dry and hollowing out. The plants looks ok at present but I am worried that they will end up killing it,

    What grease would you recommend?

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,069

    Ants like dry places. You need to give it a good soak. You should also a squirt ant powder or that sugary stuff underneath the pot once it's drained. Your plants won't survive with  a dry root ball so keep them watered and that will deter the ants too.

    I also find that putting containers on feet often helps.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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