Japanese Maple Disease?

gina_raeApril 4, 2008

We rent a home with a large, beautiful J.M. we just love. I've not seen this before...

I first noticed the table and chairs under the the maple's canopy are COVERED in something sticky. I looked in the tree and the leaves are covered in a shiny sap of some kind and there are thousands of small fly/gnat things all over the tree. Black bugs with sheer wings and the bugs barely move. Thousands!!

What could this be? I didn't find anything on Google, but I don't know what to search for.

The tree has a bed of wood violets below it, and was pruned in spring '06 (maybe '07). Not sure I can give any other helpful info..

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PS: they appear to be aphids.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 4:10PM
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Sounds like aphids alright. Insectidal soap is a very effective treatment for aphids and non-toxic. I've used it on my Japanese maples many times to control aphids. Make sure you mix it properly because the soap can damage new growth on JMs if mixed too strong (I found out the hard way). You probably will have to reapply the soap several times at weekly intervals to fully control. Ladybugs are another good organic control measure.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Only our red Jap. maples were affected this year. Tons of aphids dripping sticky stuff. Before you resort to soap or oil, try just spraying them with a firm spray of water. Not enough to knock off the leaves, but more than just a gentle shower. We did several of ours a few days ago and got about 90% of the shiny sticky stuff off the leaves. Stay on it. Those little aphids are sucking the life out of your trees.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 1:00AM
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