Tulip tree aphids

Asked March 10, 2019, 12:00 PM EDT

I have dealt with aphid infestations in my Tulip Trees for almost 40 yrs, successfully for the last 20 yrs. I have been encircling the trunks with Tanglefoot, thereby preventing the ants from nurturing the aphids. This has been successful as long as I keep the Tanglefoot intact, an check for alternate ant access routes. However, last year I ran into a problem with a volunteer Redbud - it's branches come into contact with the trunks of one of the Tulip Trees, above where I can reach to apply the Tanglefoot. I'm not sure how to deal with this - I like the Redbud and the Tulip Trees (they are on the south side of my house). Should I remove the one Tulip Tree, or perhaps the Redbud? Are there other nonharmful ways to deal with this? In the past I have tried releasing Ladybugs, but that was not as successful, plus most of those commercially available Ladybugs are nonnative species.

Baltimore Maryland trees and shrubs aphids tulip tree

1 Response

Here is some information. You do not have to remove the trees. The aphids will not hurt the tree. The Tanglefoot that you are using is messy and can damage the bark. To manage the ants you can use outdoor ant traps around the base of the tree.

Purchasing ladybugs is not recommended. They will come in on their own as predators. You can attract them by growing flowering plants that produce the nectar and pollen eaten by adult lady beetles. This is especially important in late spring before the insects they feed on become abundant. Avoid or reduce use of broad-spectrum insecticides. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/predators-ladybird-beetles-ladybugs
Here is a publication that lists plants that attract beneficial insects http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/Landscape/HG62%...