cherry tree curled sticky with black looking dirt on underside.

marcantonioMay 13, 2014

today i noticed that some leaves on my cherry tree were rolled. on the undersurface they is a sort of black dirt looking substance and a little sticky. it seems maybe like insect eggs. my apple tree is right next door and still flowering. so i'm afraid to spray pesticides that harm bees.
any suggestions?

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I am not an expert.

Do you see a bunch of ants going up and down the tree? If so, it sounds like the same problem I had on my cherry tree last year. Right or wrong, I concluded that it was aphids. Here's an article from umass. The photos matched mine.

I was able to solve the problem. I did 2 things.
1) I sprayed. I understand that spraying is out of the question at this time. However, I think the next step will work alone.
2) I cut off the ants from the aphids using a product recommended on this forum called Tanglefoot Tree Pest Barrier.
It's simply a gooey substance that works like fly paper. Tape a single wrap of duct tape around the trunk. Press the tape tight making sure there are no gaps for the ants to crawl under. Coat the wrap of tape with the tanglefoot. The ants can't get to aphids. In theory, the aphids will die without the ants. (I removed the tape in the fall because I don't want to strangle the tree.) By design, tanglefoot is extremely gooey. Don't get this stuff on your hands or clothes. Also make sure that the ants don't have an alternate path into your cherry tree. For example, if your apple tree branches touch your cherry tree branches, the ants will use that route.

About 2 weeks ago when my cherry tree was barely starting to leaf out, I noticed the ants were back. I applied duct tape and tanglefoot. The ants in the tree went nuts. They circled the upper line of the tape for hours, but they couldn't pass. Several tried, their bodies are stuck in the goo. And at least so far, the cherry leaves look healthy.

Sorry if I'm wrong.

Here is a link that might be useful: umass aphid article

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:29PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

One plan that will help until you can spray an aphid insecticide is to hit them as hard as possible with a stream of water. Just take your hose and blast them. Also there are bee safe insecticides like Safer Soap or an all season horticultural oil.

Aphids are easy to kill with things like Sevin or malathion but they're bee deadly.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:15PM
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oh i guess i did the right thing i sprayed with all seasons
horticultural oil. i also look at the label of a product called organicide seems the main ingredient is sesame oil sound good?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:03AM
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