Here is a link that might be useful: Flower power fights orchard pests
Thanks for that link molex. I've been fighting those aphids by grafting onto Geneva resistant rootstock, but not all my trees are switched over yet. So easy to throw some inexpensive seeds down to make pretty flowers. Of course I don't expect miracles, but every little bit can help.
Pam in cinti
I saw this report as well and planted alyssum around my three apple trees. Only one was showing signs of the wooly aphid, but I thought it was a good idea to try to protect them all. Plus, alyssum is a lovely little flower so they look really nice! I will let you know how it turns out this year.
Mom o Rocky, which 3 apples do you have and which one had the aphid problem? I try very hard to avoid chemicals (I know, sometimes it is unavoidable) and I'd love to know which 2 held up well. I'm a sucker for a granny smith and my poor little tree was decorated like halloween decor, I plan to plant Gold Rush hoping for similar punchy flavor and less problems, but it will be at least a year till I get toit.
It's nice to see this formally demonstrated and published. The described benefit of planting nectary plants has been widely accepted among the organic and permaculture groups for a long time. I see the benefit every spring in my garden: the first flush of growth on many plants get aphids, soon there are a bunch of hoverflies and ladybugs hanging around the nectary plants, and within a couple weeks, the aphids are all but gone.
A great thing about alyssum is that once it gets started, it keeps on flowering the whole season