chickens/nitrogen/aphids/fruit trees question

momoeightApril 11, 2012

I have a 2 year old grafted, 5-in-one plum tree. Last fall when it was one year old, I got chickens and I built their run where the plum tree is. There is landscape gravel in the area where the tree is planted. Well, obviously, there is a lot of fresh chicken manure around the tree. I was worried that the tree might die due to "burning" from the manure. But this Spring the tree was looking great. Lots of blossoms, setting fruit, etc. I just noticed that the leaves on a couple of the grafts are curled and they have aphids. I read on another post on here that aphids are attracted to high nitrogen fertilized plants. So my question is two fold. Anybody have any suggestions for how to balance the nitrogen load the tree is getting? I cannot do much about the manure. I do clean up as much as possible and remove it from the area, but there is still a lot. Is there something else I should add? Second, what is the best way to deal with the aphids. Since it is in the chicken run, I need to be careful so as not to harm the birds. Thanks in advance for any help or advice

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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Are easily washed off with water hose on end you need jet nozzle. In nature a thunder storm and rain will wash off aphids so put that tree through a storm with garden hose.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 1:55PM
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The aphids aren't necessarily attracted to "high Nitrogen" plants per se, more that high nitrogen causes more rapid growth - the aphids tend to be attracted to young, tender leaves.

Chicken manure that is left on the ground and allowed to seep into the soil naturally shouldn't cause root burn unless you have lots and lots of chickens. Just being on the surface and not working into the soil will allow the manurer to age - should be great for the trees unless you don't want growth.

And yes, Gator is correct - hose off the aphids and let the naturals take care of the ones you miss - no need for chemicals unless you have a massive infestation.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 2:58PM
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Thank you both for the info. The problem is that the leaves that the aphids are on are curled up and I don't think that spraying with water will do much as the water won't be able to get where the aphids are. I will give it a try, though.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:09PM
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