Index of Thoughts

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Cure Bug Infestation in a HUGE Tree

This is my 100 year old Red Maple tree on the side of my 100 year old house.  It is enormous and provides the most wonderful shade in the summer time to beat the Colorado heat.  This red maple has such a rich purplish red color.  It is definitely the best tree on the block!

For several years it has been getting a major aphid infestation.  The aphids create a 'honeydew' stickiness that gets all over the leaves and drops on everything under the tree.  So, my magnificent tree became a real problem.  It wasn't so enjoyable at all!! 

I called the County Extension office out to my place to confer on what to do for a pest infestation on this scale.  Lots of ideas were tossed around.  These are what I ended up doing to get rid of this terrible problem.

  1. WATER. WATER. WATER.  I can't stress enough about how dry it is out here in Colorado.  In Montrose it is considered an Alpine Desert.  So to keep things alive you must water.  People forget about established plants & when plants get stressed esp. dried out here then they typically get bugs.  I started giving my maple really long soaks every other month all around the base area not just at the base of the tree for about 3 hours.  And make sure you water in the winter too.  I watered for about 3 hours every three months during the winter.  
  2. BUG SPRAY.  Since I couldn't feasibly do a soapy water rinse on the tree, we had to use a systemic insecticide like this one here.  Make sure you follow the directions.  We applied the solution in late summer of last year.

PRESTO!!!!  NO aphids this summer.  It has been so nice to be able to sit under the shade of this beautiful tree this summer without the raining of honeydew.


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