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3 messages
12/06/2013 at 13:32

Hi,

I bought a Malus 'Tina' about three years ago now but last year and this year around flowering time the branches get covered in what looks like white cotton wool!

I don't think it is harming the plant but it doesn't look pleasant, also last winter it didn't produce any fruits as it has previous years, any advice would be much appreciated.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/25338.jpg?width=360&height=350&mode=max

 

12/06/2013 at 15:29

Looks like woolly aphids. Quite difficult to get rid of by spraying etc as the "cotton wool" forms a waxy style protective shelter for the little blighters. 

If your tree is only 3 years old and not too large I would consider spending an afternoon with a bucket of soapy water and nail brush scrubbing off every little bit you can see. You could then consider a protective spray of insecticide (but late in the evening after the pollinators have gone to bed).

You then need to be vigilant and remove any new patches when they first appear. Laborious to deal with - I have it on some eating apple trees.

No fruits last year may have been due to the aphids but might also have been due to the weird weather - we had blossom very early (before the pollinators were out) but also quite severe frosts when everything was in full blossom - poor yields as a result.

12/06/2013 at 20:48

Thank you very much for your informative advice.

I will get busy this weekend and ensure I keep my eye out in future.

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