Sticky stuff coming down from the trees - what is it?

Asked June 15, 2018, 8:57 AM EDT

This year, we seem to have a lot of sticky stuff coming down from the trees around us - mostly tulip poplars. Our deck and sunporch are covered. What is causing this and what if anything can we do to stop it or deal with it?

Montgomery County Maryland insect issues trees

1 Response

The "sticky stuff" coming down from tulip poplars is called honeydew, and it is due to aphid insects feeding in the trees. As aphids feed, they excrete “honeydew,” a sugary solution left after partial digestion of plant sap. This aphid feeding on tulip poplars is heaviest in the springtime (the aphids love the fresh new leaf growth). It will eventually clear up as the natural enemies (predators) of the aphids catch up and help to reduce the aphid populations naturally.