Black bugs on my Japanese Maple

trudy1May 12, 2009

HELP!!!! Mayday, Mayday

I was out today looking at my Japanese maple tree that is 10 years old (located in the front yard) and it is loaded with these small black bugs. I have some powder for my other plants and don't know if it will hurt my tree. It is called "Bonide Garden Dust" It doesnt say anything on the label for japanese trees, and will the bugs travel to my small 2' foot japanese tree I planted last year in the fall in the back yard. They are on the same side of the house. They are about 40-50 feet apart. I don't see any on the tree in the back. should I spray it anyways just for precautions? Any suggestions???

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Never use any spray unless you know what your spraying. Without a pic there can only be guesses. My guess is aphids and if it is, then a spray of water will take care of them.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:25PM
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I would guess aphids as well, but without a picture there is no way to be sure. My Japanese maples were loaded with aphids this year, but within a few weeks the natural predators kicked in and now the aphids are almost entirely gone. Aphid infestations tend to occur at times of weather changes, i.e. when it starts to get warmer in the spring. Give it a couple of weeks and see what happens unless the infestation is really heavy. Is there a clear sticky substance on the leaves and on things underneath the tree? This would make an aphid infestation even more likely. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:51PM
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Just realized last evening that my 50 year old (spectacular) tree has these very small black worms? all over the leaves. Today, I see that the leaves are filled with holes!! I presume this means that they are being eaten by the worms! What is this? Does anyone know?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 12:28PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

My guess is tent caterpillars or gypsy moth caterpillars.

I don't think there's much to be done NOW. Once you've ID'd the culprit you can research how to prevent them next year. If your tree is 50 years old it should be able to weather the storm...and will probably put out additional foliage.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:32AM
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