Leaves at tip of unknown tree

Asked June 5, 2020, 8:29 AM EDT

The leaves on the tip of a tree at our house have started to curl, I noticed a bunch of eggs in the curled up leaves and ladybugs hanging out, eating the eggs or laying I was unsure. Should I cut off the leaves and destroy them ( maybe putting them in the fire pit? ) any and all recs welcome. Bonus if you can ID the type of tree.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This appears to be a type of woolly aphid, which forms this fluffy white wax over their bodies as a means of predator deterrence. Sprays are rarely necessary, as many predators do still find and consume them. The leaf distortion isn't significantly harmful to the tree. You do not need to remove the aphids, as they are a good food source for many beneficial organisms.

We would need some more visible features to identify the tree. If you can photograph a section of normally-shaped leaves as well as any twigs showing leaf scars (where they used to be attached, typically a crescent-shaped scar) and bark, it would be helpful.