Check Trees for Wooly Aphids

We thought you might find the three photos below of interest. After seeing these, you’ll want to check your own Hawthorns and other trees right now.

In the first photo we see a close up of a Hawthorn tree branch with white fuzzy insects called ‘Wooly Aphidsfeeding on its branches.

wooly ahpids

These insects are sucking the sap and depleting necessary nutrients from the tree, which will weaken it over time.  These insects are normally accompanied by large numbers of honey bees flying around the infected trees. The bees are feeding on the dripping honeydew produced by the Aphids that lands on the leaves of the tree involved, as well as onto the leaves of plants growing beneath the infected trees.

After Tree Green sprayed the tree, you can see the dead Wooly Aphids that fell on top of the leaves of the Hosta plants that were growing beneath the Hawthorn in this next photo.

dead wooly aphidsThe Hawthorn’s branches were Aphid free, but for how long? You can see what we found at the base of the tree, at ground level, just a few days later. Thousands of brand new Wooly Aphids starting to emerge from the ground on their way up the tree to reproduce and feed. Tree Green had to re-treat the tree due to the relentless attack of these insects.

more wooly aphidsAfter inspecting your own trees, let us know if you find these critters either on the branches or at ground level. Tree Green can help you eliminate them!

An Odor-Free Insecticide Spray

We have an exciting development for the Fall of 2015 and beyond. We think you will find this very interesting! We now offer a new ODOR FREE product for insecticide tree spraying applications!

In the past we would receive occasional phone calls from clients who didn’t like the odor associated with one of the products that we use for certain spray applications. We understood the complaints as we didn’t like the smell either, but we used the product because quite simply, it was by far the best product that we ever used. It got the job done. It was a very broad spectrum product that killed a plethora of insects with excellent systemic residual value; meaning its effectiveness lasted for weeks. We also knew through prior testing of the old product, that even if it rained just 20 minutes after we sprayed it onto a tree, the rain would not matter. The spray was embedded into the leaf and would do its job.

Recently however, we heard about another product that our supplier said was even better.

Since we never rely on or use a product that we haven’t personally tested ourselves, we set out to do just that. This is how we test…..

We took a Linden tree (the Japanese Beetle’s favorite target) and sprayed half of it with the old product and half with the new product. We let the tree dry and clipped off a small branch with 3 leaves attached from each side of the tree and placed them into separate glass ‘bug aquariums’. Then, we drove to an area that was being hard hit with Japanese Beetles (the toughest insect there is to control with spraying applications) and placed 9 healthy beetles in each aquarium.

Within 2 hours all the beetles in the aquarium with the new product were on the bottom, dying. It took 4 hours for the beetles on the old product to fall to the bottom but either way, no leaf damage. So far so good. We continued this process every day for 28 days. Both products continued to perform but it was evident at the 21 day mark the old product began to fall off on its effectiveness where the new product was still working great. It took 28 days for the new product to begin to lose effectiveness. The leaves showed a little more feeding damage than in the previous days so we knew that ‘most likely’ the new product was as good as claimed.

Most likely you ask? Yes. There was one more test to do before we were sure. How would this new product hold up to rain? Would it retain its effectiveness if it were to rain soon after an application?

We sprayed another tree with the new product and clipped off one of the treated branches. We waited just 15 minutes for the spray to dry. Then we actually submerged the branch into a bucket of clean water and vigorously swished it around (under water) for 5 minutes which is way more water than a tree would ever see during any rain storm. We let the leaves dry again and put them into another bug aquarium with 9 healthy Japanese Beetles. Unbelievably in less than 2 hours the beetles were on the bottom dying with no leaf damage. The tiny bites they took off of one side of the leaf, that were barely noticeable, was enough to make them stop feeding and to kill them.

We kept that branch alive by submerging the cut end in a jar of water within the tank and kept introducing fresh beetles every day for the next week. The new insecticide didn’t miss a beat. Every day all the beetles were dying on the bottom within 2 hours. We knew what we needed to know; that this product was even better than the old product and all with no odor. What a nice find!

It is important to note that all products labeled for residential use are tested and monitored by the Department of Agriculture and EPA. Products of the past like DDT aren’t made any longer, and rightfully so. The product formulations available today are deadly to tiny insects, but safe in their tank mixed form for people, pets and wildlife. It is also important to note that the sprays that we use on trees and shrubs are actually safer and less toxic than store bought spray cans of ant, termite and spider products that folks use inside their homes when necessary.

One might ask… why doesn’t every company use top quality products such as those used by us? Because of the cost. Most other companies compete in the industry by offering low pricing. To achieve that they have to use the most inexpensive products available, products that might kill on contact but basically lose their effectiveness in two days. To get great results you need the products that provide them.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Tree Sap Dripping On Your Deck?

aphids-plant-lice

Western suburbs homeowners have been calling our arborists complaining about sticky sap falling from their trees. We receive many calls regarding this problem every year, but the calls seem to have increased over the last few years. Sticky, dripping tree sap is always caused by insects feeding overhead, on a variety of trees. Dripping sap is not something a tree just does on its own.

Aphids, Locust Plant Bugs, Mealy Bugs, Adelgids and Scale insects, usually numbering in the tens of thousands, are the most common culprits. These insects pierce the leaves or stems of the affected tree and feed by sucking the sap from the tree. Then their bodies excrete what is referred to as ‘honeydew’. Honeydew is a nice way of referring to the insect’s ‘droppings’ that are raining down on items below it.

Although it is quite early in the season, Locust trees are already being attacked by these insects, and future damage can be severe.

Locust, Maple, Oak, Walnut and Magnolia are just a few of the trees most adversely affected, and damage to the trees can be substantial and visually unappealing as the summer progresses. Even if you aren’t noticing this situation on cars or furniture, look at the leaves on your ‘under story’ trees such as Red Buds and Magnolia. If you see shiny, sappy spots on the leaves, that is evidence that that particular plant either has an insect problem, or a tree rising above it does.

There are a variety of treatments available ranging from spray applications, trunk injections or soil drenching of insecticides. All treatments work extremely well. With treatment the dripping will stop anywhere from within a few days, to a few weeks, depending on which treatment is required based on the type of tree and the insect affecting it.

Clients who have us treat against this situation every year will not experience this problem. If you would like to protect your trees as well, give us a call or email us. We will be happy to inspect your property and recommend a game plan to control dripping sap.