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Earlier this year, the forum identified and gave advice on a woolly aphid problem on our apple tree, for which I thank you very much. I blithely accepted the advice that we should apply a winter wash to kill the nymphs, but now that winter is nearly here I realise that I don't know anything about doing so! For a start, what is it? Will it kill everything else, or is it aphid specific and what is the best type to use to be ecofriendly but effective? Also when do I do it - is there a particular time in the aphids cycle which can be interrupted? Do I spray it or scrub the tree (again)? All help greatly appreciated .... I've never had a big tree to be responsible for before.
Some info here http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/fruit-and-veg/apple-tree-problem/92639.html which I hope is helpful Sara. Good luck
If you look in the Insecticide selling area of any reasonable size Garden Centre, you will (usually) find Winter Oil Wash. It is a horticultural soap made from plants and reasonably organic. The instructions on the bottle are very specififc.
As for keeping the dreaded Wooly aphids under control, then it is best make up a solution and scrub the tree with it.
The aphids themselves have young which overwinter in cracks in the bark, so again spraying will help control them. They are not woolly like the adults so insecticides will work if it reaches their hiding places.
Thank you both - sorry for being so tardy in saying so, I asked my question last night and went straight to bed ...