What would you do?

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What would you do?

Postby eastwood2007 » Aug 03, 2007 7:57 pm

We live in the middle of 40 acres of trees. Around the house we have mostly Black Walnut and Elms.

Every year we have this sticky "drip" from the trees that usually just lasts a few weeks. We thought the trees were just dripping sap. This year it has been extreme and has lasted about 5 weeks so far.

I saw the post about the Tulip trees and the aphids they get. Once the aphids start chewing they drop sticky honeydew and it gets all over everything underneath.

I got to thinking about that and called our extension agent this morning. OH DEAR!!!! He said what I am dealing with is aphids. I also saw many whiteflies on the elm leaves I could reach. You would not believe the sticky mess we are dealing with! I am not exagerating even a teeny bit. It covers cars in as little as an hour. Then the black sooty mold sets in on everything! It smells like urine! :eek: Uggggh! It is so disgusting!

The ext. agent said they are really bad everywhere in the county this year. Says some areas it is so heavy it looks like a white mist in the air. Says the only thing that will help is to spray all our trees with Malathion. First of all we can't reach all our trees as many are 30-40 feet. Secondly, Malathion probably kills everything including my bees, fireflies, butterflies, birds, bats and frogs!!!! He said in future years spraying the yard and tree trunks would make a big difference.

What would you do?
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What would you do?

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Postby LucyGoose » Aug 03, 2007 8:57 pm

:o I do not know..... :eek: DH read this and he doesn't know......Can you just fog the trees? Or could you do it at night when the bees are not out? We do not want to kill any bees and there have been articals about them be scarce and that we are poisoning them with all are chemicals.....

Again.....we do not know....sorry :(
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Postby viktoria » Aug 04, 2007 5:08 am

These things tend to be cyclical. Chances are the problem will be much less severe next year whether you spray or not. I would suck it up and wait for winter.

One year we had an awful infestation of scale on the Scotch pines in the windbreak. I phoned a tree person to come and give an estimate since I did not have the equipment (or knowledge) to tackle the job. The man showed up half in the bag and gave me an estimate, which I accepted, and was supposed to come back to do the job. He never showed up. We have never seen scale in the trees since, more than 10 years ago.

Another year it was the accursed pachysandra in the front yard: the stems were completely covered with scale. I did nothing (did you notice I cursed the stuff?), and have seen no scale since.

Granted, both these instances involved scale, but remember that gypsy moth caterpillars may be bad one year but will have travelled out of your area by the next. Locusts appear (in hordes) some years but most years you do not see them in large numbers. What else? The viburnum beetle is spreading through the Northeast (and elsewhere, for all I know), but it also is travelling and after the year of severe infestation it will have moved on.
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Postby caliloo » Aug 04, 2007 5:38 am

I agree with Viktoria that it is probably cyclical and the problem will be significantly less next year.

That said, is there anyway you could release ladybugs (or other beneficial) to munch them? Either that or just spray them with a sharp blast from a hose? When I have had aphids on my roses in the past, I give them a shot with the strongest setting of the hose and they are gone.

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Postby Annie » Aug 04, 2007 6:51 am

I have no idea what to do. But it did help me reading your post! There is a tree where I work and it is a tulip tree. I was thinking of getting one to put in my back yard. But man that thing is NASTY this year!! Leaves all over the ground and they are shiny and sticky. A picnic bench under the tree is all sticky even the grass under it is.

People there said it isn't normaly like that.

I thought it might be sick, but wasn't sure what was wrong with it. Now I know!
If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn. ~Andrew Mason

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Postby hubble » Aug 06, 2007 10:01 am

Charla, just saw your post. It sure explains a lot. Thanks!

Normally I have some type of "black sticky stuff" under the neighbors walnut that hangs into my yard in the back. Nice place to put furniture, but could never sit on a chair under that tree.

But this year, even stuff out in the open (tomatoes in the garden, truck in the driveway, even stuff under my covered pergola) is sticky. In previous years, a rain would wash it off. But this year it is worse after a rain. :o I actually thought there was something in the rains we've been getting! I guess in a matter of speaking, it IS "raining"....aphid doo. :evil:

Thanks again for the post! Karen
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