Tree Aphid Formation, Issues Caused and Control Methods, Part 1

As spring comes into full bloom and soon gives way to summer, those with trees on their property have to consider a few seasonal care areas. One such area is the prevention of several pests that may begin invading trees and other plant areas this time of year, and a top culprit here is the aphid.

At Reliable Tree Care, our certified arborist services include a wide range of tree disease control services, including treatment for aphids, spidermites and scale. Aphids are some of the most common tree-related pests out there, with over 4,000 known species that can create several issues – this two-part blog will dig into how they form and the issues they present to your trees and property, plus how you can go about spotting them and removing them safely.

tree aphid issues control

Aphid Formation

Aphids tend to form a little bit later in the life of a given tree or plant than certain other pests – they don’t attack first leaves in most cases, rather waiting until the stage of growth that comes after cotyledons. For this reason, they’re particularly common in greenhouses, though they can attack anywhere.

In many situations, however, aphid issues can date back to well before spring even begins. Winged adult aphids, which we’ll discuss more in part two of this blog, will shelter themselves in tree bark during the winter months, then begin to migrate to other areas of the tree plus other plants or shrubs during the early spring.

Primary Issues Caused by Aphids

Aphids can lead to several significant issues, the first of which is a residue they leave on tree and shrub leaves. This sticky, shiny substance is the result of excretion from aphids, and it’s both gross to the touch and dangerous to trees.

In addition, large quantities of aphids can lead to significant damage to several tree areas. They cause discoloration, curling of leaves, leaf drop and even plant dieback. They also lead to malformation on leaves and stems alike, which can cause an uptick in multiple different diseases. Finally, aphid excrement often attracts other pests to the area, such as ants.

Aphid Reproduction

Another major problem with aphids? Unlike many other pest types, they do not need to mate to reproduce. They’re able to give birth to living young, always females that are born carrying several additional aphids. This means they multiply at far higher rates than many other pest types, and can overwhelm your trees or other plant areas if they aren’t controlled early and forcefully. And again, all this is without even considering the other pests they attract to the area.

For more on aphids and how to control them on your trees or other plants, or to learn about any of our quality arborist services, speak to the staff at Reliable Tree Care today.