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Fruit Tree Aphids

Hi - we moved to our current home last July and inherited a small orchard containing  some plum trees, a damson, a dwarf apple and a mulberry.  We have added two gala apple trees and two pear trees.  Last year the damson fruited brilliantly but, to my horror, yesterday I noticed that nearly the whole tree had curled leaves and is pickled with aphids.  The dwarf apple (sorry, I don't know which type it is) is also suffering the same and also has what I think is woolly aphids.  What can I do about this?  They really have been struck badly and it seems to be all of a sudden.  I'm there several times during the day as our 7 hens roam the orchard and I hadn't noticed anything amiss until now.  I'm a total novice with fruit trees!

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,441

    Hang bird feeders among your fruit trees ... attract blue tits and great tits and long tailed tits ... within a couple of years they'll get used to visiting your trees for their food and they and their fledglings will hoover up your aphids.

    Also don't use insecticides, as ladybirds, hoverflies, lacewings and other insects also prey on aphids.

    in the first instance, if  your hose will reach,  turn a sharp jet of water onto the aphids and that will wash a good proportion of them onto the ground for your chickens. 

    Sounds a lovely orchard image

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







  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Also check for ants crawling around your trees - they 'farm' aphids and carry them to fresh new growth.  The solution is to use 'fruit tree grease bands' around the trunks which are a physical barrier to prevent ants climbing the tree.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you both for your advice.  Yes I noticed yesterday that there are motorways of ants running up and down the trees (I've heard before that they 'farm' aphids!).  I've ordered some tree grease bands which, as you say, should help.  I hadn't thought of hanging bird feeders.  I could do that this afternoon.  I'll have to put a barrier around each tree though as the hens will be sitting underneath the feeders with their beaks open waiting for any dropped seed!  I'd have 7 very fat hens.image 

    Yes Dovefromabove - it's a lovely little orchard.  I've always wanted one!  I just need to learn how to look after it. image

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